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Contact stages powerful new production about female genital mutilation

24 Apr 2015

On Tuesday, 12 May to Thursday, 14 May (7.30pm) at Contact, Oxford Road

Rites is a powerful and provocative new production exploring the deep-rooted cultural practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), created by Olivier award-winning director, Cora Bissett (Roadkill, Glasgow Girls) and acclaimed Mancunian theatre-maker Yusra Warsama.

Rites is based on current, true stories from girls affected in Scotland and the rest of the UK, mothers who feel under pressure to continue the practice, and the experiences of midwives, lawyers, police officers, teachers and health workers trying to effect change in communities. The show weaves different perspectives into a powerful drama which explores the pressures and misconceptions existing within this deeply complex practice.

Rites reunites leading Scottish theatre-maker Cora Bissett with young contemporary artists Patricia Panther, (performer and composer on Glasgow Girls) and Kim Beveridge (video designer on Road Kill), who provide an electronic musical soundscape and visuals. 

The cast comprises Janet Kumah, James Mackenzie, Beth Marshall, Paida Mutonono and Elena Pavli. Paida is from Manchester (and based here). She’s an actor and theatre producer. Her recent theatre appearances include Clybourne Park (2014); Len Johnson: Fighter (2014); and The Blue Room (2013).

FGM, often referred to as “female circumcision” or “cutting” within cultures that practise it, is an ancient ritual that has been performed for centuries, and is one to which millions of girls worldwide are still subjected. The reasons are complicated and myriad. It depends who you are, and it depends what you've been taught.  FGM is illegal in the UK, however a recent campaign in 2013 by a young British-Somali student (Fahma Mohammed) has increased awareness of the practice and turned a global issue into a UK political policy priority and headline news. 

This is Contact’s first co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland.

Further information and booking

Tickets: £14/£8. Suitable for over 14s.

To book and for further information: