Interview: Sudha Bhuchar on new play My Name Is..., about the apparent kidnapping of Molly Campbell
The abduction caused a tabloid frenzy against 'the fundamentalist, tyrannical father'
The story of Molly Campbell, a 12-year-old apparently kidnapped by her father from her Scottish home and taken to Pakistan, created a flurry of tabloid speculation. When Sudha Bhuchar began developing a script, she discovered that is was more complicated. 'At first, I thought that I was writing a fictional piece about the story, but I met the father and daughter in Pakistan, and the mother in Scotland, and I kept coming back to their words: I found them much more moving.'
My Name Is … has been in development for six years and uses verbatim conversations to examine a complicated tale of love, faith and media frenzy with Molly's story cast in simple terms by the newspapers. 'The headlines went from having sympathy with the distraught mother against the fundamentalist, tyrannical father,’ Bhuchar remembers. ‘Then the daughter said she wanted to be with him. The media did a lot of navel gazing and had to consider whether they'd got it wrong.'
Bhuchar 'was struck by the role of faith in the stories of all three people'. Realising that this was a family story and not the symbolic battle between national identities presented by the press, Bhuchar was inspired. 'I am drawn to the personal story,' she says. 'We are often encouraged to put our name for or against something, and I want to show all the sides. And this is a story that doesn't have an end: family life continues.’
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 29–Sat 31 May.