Cuttin’ It at the Young Vic
Charlene James’ Cuttin’ It, co-produced by the Young Vic and the Royal Court Theatre, explores the relationship between two teenage girls born in Somalia and their contrasting opinions regarding the cultural tradition of female genital mutilation. Now living in the UK, Muna and Iqra come from very different backgrounds but as they get closer they realise that they have more in common than they first thought.
Played out on a simple stage by just two actresses, there is nothing to take away from the issue of FGM and its hidden but powerful presence in Britain’s society today. The piece is well balanced with a good amount of humour, particularly at the start, ensuring that its message is easier to swallow rather than plunging the audience into a state of complete bleakness. All the same it hits hard, forcing home the seriousness of the matter and leaving audience members in a visible state of shock at the end. It is clear that FGM is a very current issue that needs publicising in order to raise awareness, and this play does just that.
The success behind this production lies as much with the raw passion in the script as with the stunning performances given by Adelayo Adedayo and Tsion Habte. The emotion with which key monologues are delivered is moving and at times distressing as the two young characters struggle to make sense of their feelings. The stark difference in the two girls’ ways of thinking is successful in highlighting the confusion surrounding the reasons behind the tradition of FGM and why women themselves are eager to keep it up.
A devastating eye-opener, Cuttin’ It forces its audience to sit up and pay attention. As Muna stresses in a confrontation with Iqra, “This is real. They’re cuttin little girls in a tower block every Saturday mornin”. The play is a must-see this summer and is designed for a diverse audience, so snap up tickets before the tour finishes at the end of July.
Cuttin’ It is on at the Young Vic Theatre from 20th May until the 11th June 2016 before touring the UK, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for Cuttin’ It here: