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It’s the Angelus Captain, but not as we know it. Pro-choice activists are staging a simultaneous theatrical intervention across Ireland and beyond to mark St Brigid’s Day.

Why? Well, St Brigid’s Day was previously known as the pre-Christian festival of Imbolg. According to academic Maeve B. Callan, St Bridget is one of four Irish saints who “are recorded as openly and miraculously carrying out abortions”.

So, there you have it.They’re calling it The Renunciation and one of our readers contacted us with the following info:

“The readings will take place at 6.01pm – following the traditional time for the ringing of the evening Angelus bells. Performers will each wear a blue item of clothing and read from handmade booklets. The Renunciation is an original work about the diverse circumstances of those attempting to access abortion services that are not provided in Ireland1. The contents are based on legal cases and anecdotes shared with the producers of the work ‘The home|work Collective’.

The Renunciation is respectfully, an intervention in the reflective space offered by the modern day Angelus. This work contains a set of stories that describe a set of social rituals for 12+ people from Ireland seeking abortions daily. Read aloud, the verses publicly present uncensored insights into real experiences. Both rhythm and structure reference the Hail Mary prayer that commemorates the moment in which Mary exercised her agency in consenting to becoming pregnant. These verses highlight the detrimental consequences of denying the agency of others and disregarding our consent, in essence attempting to enforce pregnancy. The Renunciation challenges the double standards dictated by idealised notions of womanhood and mothering that ignore present day realities and less-than-ideal circumstances.”

If you’ve some free time you can catch the performances at 6.01pm today at Colbert Station, Connolly Station, Kings Cross Station in London, Paul St in Cork, Maynooth University, Kildare and Shop St in Galway

Keep yer eyes peeled on #TheRenunciation and #Repealthe8th for more. The script for the play can be read here.

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