THE National Theatre of Scotland is to put on its first women-only matinées for its new play about female genital mutilation.
Rites, by the award-winning director and writer Cora Bissett and Manchester-based theatre practitioner Yusra Warsama, examines female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision or cutting. Rites is based on interviews with young women and girls who have been cut, their mothers who feel the need to carry on the practice, and the health professionals, teachers and others who deal with the consequences.
FGM involves partial or total removal of external female genitalia.
The reasons for it are complicated and differ depending on a number of factors, including which of the African and the Middle East countries where FGM is concentrated the girl has come from or has roots. Bissett, whose previous work includes the powerful and award-winning Roadkill and Glasgow Girls, hopes the play will fairly and sensitively discuss FGM.
She said: “Theatre is an extremely powerful medium to explore complex stories, put cultural practice under the spotlight and to find sensitive ways of portraying traumatic human experiences.