Royal Exchange, Manchester
Charlene James’s 2016 play about female genital mutilation combines a powerful social message with bursts of humour
It’s a “messed-up tradition” says one of the characters in Charlene James’s play. Female genital mutilation, an illegal practice in Britain, is performed in backrooms on girls who are led there by mothers, aunts and elders. A gripping piece of urban noir, Cuttin’ It combines a strong social message with bursts of humour and a slow-dial suspense that crescendos into a gritty tower-block tragedy.
James’s script follows the chalk-and-cheese friendship between two British Somali schoolgirls who meet on the number 47 bus. James won awards for this play in 2016 and it has lost none of its terrible power under the direction of Nickie Miles-Wildin.