The ‘Glasgow girls’ who campaigned for an end to child detention and dawn raids are being celebrated on stage at the Scottish National Theatre

by zoejardiniere

02.11.2012 A new piece of musical theatre has opened this week at the Scottish National Theatre and will run until 17 November, followed by a run at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, in London from 8 February to 2 March 2013. The play, directed by Cora Bissett and with music written by MC Soom T, tells the story of the ‘Glasgow girls’, seven school friends, among whom was Agnesa Murselaj, a 15-year-old Kosovan asylum seeker. When Agnesa’s home was raided at dawn one morning and she, along with her family, detained, she didn’t arrive in school to meet her friends, prompting them to take action to end the practices of dawn raids and of detaining children.

The girls’ campaign and petition gained significant media attention and eventually contributed to the May 2010 government announcement that the immigration detention of children would end with immediate effect. All of the girls involved were eventually granted leave to remain in the UK.

The Scottish Refugee Council has supported the project and will be bringing a piece of community theatre, Here we Stay, to the theatre on 15-17 November as an addition to the evening.

Cora Bissett, the director, has given an interview about the production where she says that she was inspired by the energy of the girls to create the production and to make it a musical by the culture that they shared both through their local music, and through the influences they brought from their diverse cultural heritages.

The National Theatre of Scotland is using the occasion of the production to launch its campaign ‘Make a Stand’, providing grants to groups of young people who want to take action to produce a positive change in society.

For further information:

–                     Promotional trailer video

–                     BBC reports on the story including an interview with the girls themselves

–                     Website of the campaign group End Child Detention