(Mark Fisher’s article appeared in the Guardian, 5/11.)
Engagingly performed, subtly argued and quietly emotive, this collaboration between the National Theatre of Scotland and Manchester’s Contact takes female genital mutilation as its theme. The practice itself is set out with text-book clarity as part of the verbatim collage of Cora Bissett and Yusra Warsama’s script: it is a painful, abusive and unnecessary operation, rooted in misogyny and misinformation.
But the production feels no need to labour the point. Rather, in its testimonies from survivors, campaigners, nurses and lawyers, it paints an experiential picture that illustrates the way social pressures and legal approaches can either sustain or disrupt a cultural tradition that is estimated to have affected 137,000 women in England and Wales alone. It does not dispute that change is needed, but asks sensitive questions about how that change can be achieved.