THE difficult subject of FGM is the focus of Charlene James’s new play, Cuttin’ It, currently on at the Young Vic.
Directed by Gbolahan Obisesan and played out in the Waterloo theatre’s Maria studio stage it is dramatic, intense, compelling and heartbreaking - and really packs a punch.
It tells the story of Iqra and Muna. Although both originally from Somalia, the girls have had very different upbringings.
Both are about 15 years old and go to the same school, but neither is what they appear at first.
Iqra has recently come to live in the UK having lost her entire family in Somalia. Shy and quiet, she is now living with an “auntie” on the ninth floor of a huge grey tower block where the urine soaked lift is always out of order. But she has a secret - why are there lots of chairs in the living room and why does the flat smell of disinfectant?
Muna meanwhile is a streetwise teen who has lived in the UK for a while and for whom the daily routine of school is a bit of a drudge. Although excited about her younger sister who is about to celebrate her seventh birthday, Muna holds her own secret - that of trying to protect her sister from FGM and her own wounds that she got when she was mutliated at seven.
Muna and Iqra’s worlds collide one fateful day when they meet on the bus. But as they find out more about each other they see that they have more in common than they at first thought.
Adelayo Adedayo as Muna and Tsion Habte as Iqra are superb in this gripping piece of theatre, which is something everyone should go and see and be horrified that FGM is still happening, often behind closed doors, devastating the lives of young girls.
And then we should try and do something to stop it happening anymore.
Cuttin’ It is on at the Young Vic, Waterloo, until Saturday, June 11. Tickets from £10. Visit www.youngvic.org" or call the box office on 020 7922 2922.