Little Stitches, Theatre 503, review: Piercingly eloquent mini-dramas about FGM

A profoundly upsetting series of plays, but ones that give enhanced clarity as they explores the barbarous ritual from various angles

Paul Taylor
Tuesday 26 August 2014 15:27
Comments
Stephanie Yansom and Shalini Peiris star in Little Stitches
Stephanie Yansom and Shalini Peiris star in Little Stitches

“You have been stabilised so you can be trusted,” says one of the two African women, ululating and wiggling in ceremonial triumph, to the teenage girl under the blanket who has been flown from England to be genitally mutilated by these gatekeepers to true womanhood.

Unfortunately, their attempts to make her embrace the pleasure of now being fit for male consumption are rather lost on her; she is dying from the botched operation.

Bahar Brunton's cumulatively devastating Dancing Feet is one of the four piercingly eloquent, interrelated mini-dramas focusing on FGM that comprise Little Stitches, a profoundly upsetting evening but one which, as with all good art, gives one at least the consolation of enhanced clarity as it explores this barbarous ritual from various angles.

Alex Crampton directs all four with vivid versatile actors in an excellent BARETruth production that does justice to the way, in some of the plays (one of which is verbatim), the horror steals into one's ken gradually from within a comically depicted context. The gabby air-hostess who notices a mother holding onto her daughter for dear life.

The rather snarky school teacher (“Monique is not gifted, she's just spoilt”) and her appraisal of the drawings predicting life in the summer holidays.

Let's not mince words: FGM is the attempted lobotomy of the victim's sexual nature – a fact unforgettably brought home here.

To 27 Aug; 020 7978 7040; then at Arcola Tent, 29-30 Aug; and at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill 10 September

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in