Rites is a powerful and provocative new play exploring the deep-rooted cultural practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This ritual of enforced cutting has been performed for centuries and millions of girls worldwide, often as young as five years old, are still subjected to it. The reasons are complicated and myriad. It depends who you are what you've been taught. Some things are simple though: FGM is still happening across the world. FGM is happening in the UK, here and now.
Rites is based on interviews and 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. Weaving together different perspectives into a multi-voiced production, the play explores the complexities, misconceptions and challenges involved in trying to change what is to many, a fundamental rite of passage.
Cora Bissett is an award-winning actor and theatre director, who trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Having worked widely as an actress for 14 years, she attained the Arches Award for Directors in 2009 and devised her debut production Amada which toured nationally. She launched her own company, Pachamama Productions in 2010, for which Roadkill was the flagship production. As an actress, she recently filmed the 9th and 10th series of Rab C. Nesbitt for the Comedy Unit/BBC, played in David Mackenzies 2011 feature You Instead and also recently starred in the international tour of Midsummer, for which she won the 2009 Stage Best Actress Award and will go on to open at Sydney Opera House in January 2012.
Yusra Warsama is an actor, writer and theatre practitioner. She began her theatre career at Contact, Manchester, whilst studying Criminology and Sociology. She has collaborated on Don Letts’ Speakers’ Corner, a spoken word theatre piece. She has toured her poetry nationally and was part of a national poetry residency Incubate, which resulted in a collaborative work in progress piece Three-Way, alongside poet Malika Booker and grime artist R.T. She has recently been Assistant Director to Walter Meierjohann on a site-specific version of Romeo and Juliet.