Glasgow Girls for King’s

Dec 21 2018 | By More

Musical hit tours to King’s in January

Cora Bissett’s award-winning musical Glasgow Girls, based on the true story of seven teenagers from Drumchapel who stood up to stop their asylum-seeking school friend being deported, is to play the Edinburgh King’s in January 2019.

The musical premiered in 2012 and had a sold-out run during the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 (Æ review: “★★★★☆ Gallus“). The new tour is due to open at the Glasgow King’s on January 15 2019, touring to the Edinburgh King’s in January 23 for six performances and then on to Perth, Inverness and Dublin.

The 2019 cast of Glasgow Girls: Patricia Panther, Stephanie McGregor, Kara Swinney , Sophia Lewis , Chaira Sparks , Shannon Swan and Aryana Ramikhalawon. Pic: Martin Shields

The life-affirming work follows the self-styled Glasgow Girls’ 2005 campaign from a Drumchapel high-rise all the way to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

The Glasgow Girls inspired a whole community to unite behind its residents and fight for the rights of the children of asylum seekers. And five years later, when she heard of their story, they inspired leading theatre maker Cora Bissett to want to put it on the stage.

Bissett says: “When I first was drawn to the story of the Glasgow Girls in 2010, I had no idea that the matter of refugees and asylum seekers in the world would transpire to become THE most urgent and prescient question of our times.


“I am of course saddened this is the case and that Western governments continue to have a huge impact on the various wars, which ultimately displace hundreds of thousands of innocent people from their homes.

“I do however feel that this story could not be more timely, in the way in which it brings compassion back to the people at the centre of these crises, and personalises their stories so that we as an audience can connect our humanity with theirs.

“We would all do exactly as they do, were we in the same position.”

Cora Bissett (front) with 2019 cast: Patricia Panther, Stephanie McGregor, Kara Swinney , Sophia Lewis , Chaira Sparks , Shannon Swan and Aryana Ramikhalawon. Pic: Martin Shields

Bissett came upon the story of the Glasgow Girls through Lindsay Hill’s “brilliant” documentary of the girls’ story Tales from the Edge and got to know Lindsay and the seven Glasgow Girls.

After watching the footage, she came to the surprising – but exciting – conclusion that this story should be told as a musical.

“It was the girls’ energy and can-do spirit that made me feel this story should be sung” she says. “It was a celebration of solidarity, of a group of teenage girls realising they could affect the world they live in, a celebration of a city I love deeply, and of those people in it.”

multi-cultural hybrid of influences

Cora Bissett then went about finding a group of composers, all with vastly varying styles in order to somehow convey the multi-cultural hybrid of influences that the girls themselves were borne from.

And after a sharing of her initial work at the Edinburgh International Festival, playwright David Greig offered to work on the book with her.

“Over two years, I began developing the show, experimenting with the songwriters and working closely with Hilary Brooks and David Greig. We always wanted to treat people’s real lives with the utmost care and respect.

“We invited the girls, Euan Girvan, Wilson Blakey, Noreen Real and Jean Donnachie to all of our development stages, and shared the script with them, which they gave feedback on, and gradually built their trust. They have continued to come to every outing the production has, and have become lifelong friends with many of our cast.’


Glasgow Girls
King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Wed 23 to Sat 26 January 2019
Evenings: 7.30pm; Matinees Thurs & Sat: 2.30pm.
Æ review of 2016 tour to #EdFringe: ★★★★☆ Gallus.
Tickets and details: Book here.

Glasgow Girls on tour:
15-19 Jan 2019 Glasgow
King’s Theatre
0844 871 7648* Book online
23-26 Jan 2019 Edinburgh
King’s Theatre
0131 529 6000 Book online
30 Jan – 3 Feb 2019 Perth
Perth Theatre
01738 621031 Book online
7-9 Feb 2019 Inverness
Eden Court
01463 234 234 Book online
13-16 Feb 2019 Dublin
Abbey Theatre
+353 1 87 87 222 Book online


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