Thursday, 15 October 2015
Cuttin’ It by Charlene James, directed by Young Vic Genesis Fellow Gbolahan Obisesan
Friday 20 May – Saturday 11 June 2016
Charlene award-winning play, directed by Young Vic Genesis Fellow Gbolahan Obisesan, highlights the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK.
Iqra and Muna live in the UK. 15 years old, go to the same school, and were both born in Somalia. These superficial similarities kickstart a friendship based on a shared understanding. But as their trust grows, fundamental differences emerge and drive an irrevocable wedge between them.
Charlene James’ urgent play looks at ritual, shame and bravery through the prism of different cultural perspectives. A work that speaks to young women across the UK, Cuttin’ It highlights the issue of FGM here and abroad. Directed by Gbolahan Obisesan, the production is designed by Joanna Scotcher.
In order to find the widest audience for this extraordinary new play, the Young Vic is co-producing it with the Royal Court Theatre. Following its run at the Young Vic it will play in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs as part of the Royal Court 60th anniversary season (24 June – 9 July) and at Birmingham Repertory Theatre (14 – 18 June), Sheffield Crucible (20 – 23 July) and The Yard Theatre (26 – 30 July). Cuttin’ It is part of A Nation’s Theatre.
Charlene James won the Alfred Fagon and George Devine Awards for Cuttin’ It. She is a playwright and an actor who trained at Birmingham School of Acting and The School at Steppenwolf, Chicago. In 2008, she participated in the Royal Young Writers Programme and in 2012 she was selected to be one of the 503 Five at Theatre 503. In 2013 Charlene became a writer in residence at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre for their season focusing on mental health. Her play, Tweet Tweet, was commissioned by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre as part of Young Theatre Makers and premiered there before touring.
Gbolahan Obiesesan’s previous work at the Young Vic includes Feast (co-written with Yunior García Aguilera, Rotimi Babatunde, Marcos Barbosa and Tanya Barfield) directed by Rufus Norris, his play Mad About The Boy directed by Ria Parry, and his direction of Sus by Barrie Keeffe, as the recipient of the 2009 Jerwood Directors Award. The production subsequently toured to venues around the UK. Other directing credits include We Are Proud to and Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre); School Gate (microplay, Royal Court and The Guardian); Songs Inside (Gate Theatre); Eye/Balls and Hold It Up (Soho Theatre); and 200 Years (Watford Palace Theatre). Further writing credits include Pigeon English (Bristol Old Vic, Edinburgh Theatre); Set Me Fair (Latitude); Sweet Mother, Regeneration, A Vision of Pride (Theatre503); Deconstructing the Barack (Tristan Bates Theatre) and Hold it up (Soho Theatre). Gbolahan was the recipient of the Bulldog Princep Bursary 2008 9 at the National Theatre Studio. He is currently developing a new play, Black and Blue for Eclipse Theatre Company, as well as a screenplay with EMU Productions.
Joanna Scotcher returns to the Young Vic following her work on A Harlem Dream. Other recent theatre credits include: The Rolling Stone, Anna Karenina (Royal Exchange/West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Railway Children (York Theatre Royal/Waterloo Station/Kings Cross Station) for which she won Best Set Designer at the WhatsOnStage Awards; Pests (Royal Court) and Antigone (Pilot Theatre). As well as her theatrical stage design, Joanna specialises in the world of immersive performance and site responsive design, inhabiting spaces from the epic to the intimate. Her design work has been exhibited at the V&A’s From Gaga to Gormley exhibition and her installations have appeared at Kensington Palace and Covent Garden. Joanna recently designed the Capturing the Flame Ceremony for the inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan. Joanna forms part of the multi award winning theatre company LookLeftLookRight as associate designer.
Staged for the first time at the Young Vic in May 2016, Cuttin’ It will be broadcast as a radio drama on BBC Radio 4 on 9 October 2015 at 14:15.
Cuttin’ It by Charlene James runs 20 May – 11 June 2016 in the Young Vic’s Maria. It is directed by Gbolahan Obisesan, with design by Joanna Scotcher. Cuttin’ It is a Young Vic / Royal Court Theatre co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Sheffield Theatres and The Yard Theatre.
Notes to Editors
Friday 20 May – Saturday 11 June 2016
Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo, London, SE1 8LZ
Press Night: Friday 27 May, 7pm
Performances: Monday Saturday at 7.45pm (except 30 May) | Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.45pm (except 21, 25, 28 May)
Captioned Performance: Tuesday 7 June 7.45pm
Tickets: Previews 20 May 26 May £10 | 28 May 11 June £10, £20. Concessions available
Box Office: www.youngvic.org | 020 7922 2922
Cuttin’ It Elsewhere
Tuesday 14 – Saturday 18 June 2016
The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2EP
Friday 24 – June Saturday 9 July 2016
The Royal Court Theatre, London, SW1W 8AS
Wednesday 20 – Saturday 23 July 2016
Sheffield Crucible, 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA
Tuesday 26 – Saturday 30 July 2016
The Yard Theatre, Unit 2a Yard, London E9 5EN