Morveren summary

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Morveren is an intergenerational play exploring themes of power, gender and what it means to be successful, and questioning what society might look like if women ruled the world.

Plot outline: Believing her grandmother Morwen’s dying, banker Keren goes back to the coastal village she ran away from as a teenager, finding it oddly unchanged. Keren’s Little Mermaid-obsessed daughter Ellie meets her great-grandmother for the first time and discovers Morwen’s mermaid stories are very different to Disney; why would any sane mermaid give up her voice and her freedom for some prince? Morwen insists she’s not dying yet (despite the chemo pack in her hoodie), but that it’s time for Keren to take her place as head of the village. Keren feels like a fish out of water, and the village is the whitest place mixed-race Ellie’s ever been. The villagers are busy preparing for the local summer festival and as they surround Morwen, sacrificing a huge driftwood sculpture to the sea, suddenly everything clicks into place for Keren: all the children with their mothers’ names, businesses owned and run by women, the way men here move aside. Morwen’s not just the village’s leader, but its matriarch, a role handed down from mother to daughter for generations, and begins to understand what it would be like for her daughter to grow up in a society that tells her she’s valuable.