Page extent: 72
ISBN: 9781783198030
Binding: PaperBack


Cora Bissett, Yusra Warsama

PaperBack (11 May 2015)

Rites is a powerful and provocative new play exploring the deep-rooted cultural practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This ritual of enforced cutting has been performed for centuries and millions of girls worldwide, often as young as five years old, are still subjected to it. The reasons are complicated and myriad. It depends who you are what you've been taught. Some things are simple though: FGM is still happening across the world. FGM is happening in the UK, here and now.

Rites is based on interviews and true stories from girls affected in Scotland and the rest of the UK, mothers who feel under pressure to continue the practice, and the experiences of midwives, lawyers, police officers, teachers and health workers trying to effect change in communities. Weaving together different perspectives into a multi-voiced production, the play explores the complexities, misconceptions and challenges involved in trying to change what is to many, a fundamental rite of passage.

Additional Information

ISBN13 9781783198030
Binding PaperBack
Page Extent 72


'Engagingly performed, subtly argued and quietly emotive...the overriding impression is one of consciousness-raising; of a group of ordinary men and women trying to make sense of a complex situation and, crucially, to map a way forward.' Guardian

'It is a very necessary, well-researched and culturally sensitive docudrama... The work ranges from moments of essential gynaecological, historical and cultural education to deeply personal stories.' Daily Telegraph

'There is a starkness to this co-production... but leavened by a surprisingly witty script and the sensitive pulse of [the] electronic score. When the entire cast sounds unexpectedly but joyously triumphal.' Herald

'Rites skilfully highlights the complexity of FGM, demonstrating it is intrinsically linked to bigger questions of race, immigration, cultural tradition and education... The final message is positive as more voices join the discussion of this taboo subject. Rites is not a call to arms; it is a powerful call to listen.' List

'The text itself is compelling and horrifying, enlightening and baffling, offering a full spectrum of opinions and experiences, and the knowledge that these are not the phrases of a disassociated playwright but are lived experiences, gives it that extra hit of potency... aided by the endearing characterisation of the interviewed persons, recreated with likeable individual personalities and traits, whatever their cultural background, accent or ideology.' TV Bomb