“Clandestines”: when the future is a return to the past

«Clandestines&raquo ;: when the future is a return to the past

Nahéma Ricci in Clandestines

In an intimate, political and judicial way, the play Clandestines, presented at the Michelle-Rossignol hall of the Center du Théâtre d'Aujourd' today until February 11, imagines in an imminent dystopia what could be a Canada where abortion policies have regressed and where voluntary termination of pregnancy is practiced clandestinely, at the risk of those who have the courage to break the law. 

While on June 24, the United States Supreme Court invalidated Roe v. Wade which decriminalized abortion, the story set in 2025 and imagined by theater women Marie-Ève ​​Milot and Marie-Claude St-Laurent turns out to be sadly topical – even plausible, unfortunately – and therefore very relevant.  

Through history, we understand how such reversals could take place even in our society. 

Strong, but not without weaknesses 

In Clandestines, anti-choice groups appear in an uninhibited way, even intervening in the political sphere , by attempting to indoctrinate any young woman who becomes pregnant, whether or not she wishes to continue her pregnancy.  

Their remarks are shocking, often ridiculed. In this regard, the play presents itself as a fierce critique of certain policies and associated bureaucratic practices, of the hypocrisy and egocentrism of men in positions of power as well as of the manipulation strategies of said groups. In contrast, the piece offers a heartfelt homage to the resistance. 

Despite a strong narrative, uneven interpretations, emphatic dialogues, clumsy breaks in tone and lengths (the piece lasts nearly three hours including a 20-minute intermission) alter the quality of the experience. Without however preventing the piece from reaching its target.

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