Detainee A

The Arches, Glasgow, Tue 26-Thu 28 Jun


Cora Bissett has, for over a decade, been one of Scotland’s most respected performers, but when it was announced that she was directing a show, Amada, at the Arches, there might have been a slight twinge of fear among her many admirers - not all great actors make good directors. The fear was misplaced as it turned out, with Amada receiving a CATS nomination, and a good deal of fulsome praise.

As she enters into her next directorial project, Ankur’s Detainee A, involving 21 performers from many ethnicities, she reflects upon the recent past with a laugh. ‘I didn’t have a scooby that it was going to happen. Just last year, I thought, “I need a new challenge; I need to be using my head in a different way.” But I had no idea all this would happen so quickly. I’m a bit stunned with it, to be honest, but I’m lovin’ it.’

This new project, involving a concept by Sarmed Mirza, which was turned into a film script by Shahid Nadeem is a stage version of a very relevant story. ‘It’s basically about a Scottish Pakistani family living in Glasgow, whose son is arrested as a terror suspect. The thing about the folks in this situation is that they’re a really well established Asian family, respected in the community, who’ve been here all their lives.’ The tensions that unfold from this might just make a strong night of theatre, conveyed not by liberal leaning folk with their own political agenda, but by members of the community affected.

(Steve Cramer)

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