My Name Is . . .
Story behind the Molly Campbell headlines gets to be heard
This article is from 2015.
Nine years after 12-year-old Molly Campbell's 'abduction' from Scotland to Pakistan hit the news, this play from Sudha Bhuchar and Tamasha theatre company attempts to uncover the story behind the headlines. Molly's supposed kidnap from her mother's home in Stornoway to her father's in Islamabad dominated news coverage for days. And when Molly appeared on TV to declare that she had gone willingly, and that her name was Misbah, the media presented the story as a clash of two civilisations.
Bhuchar's play, first performed at London's Arcola Theatre last year, is based on interviews with Molly / Misbah and her parents, conducted in 2008 when she was still in Pakistan (she's since moved back to Scotland) but their names are changed: Molly becomes Gaby / Ghazala, her parents Suzy and Farhan.
The media's prejudices are roundly attacked, particularly their racism towards one side, and class scorn towards the other. But this easy target isn't the main focus of My Name Is; instead, its strength is in the way it tells the personal stories of those involved. Umar Ahmed and Rehanna MacDonald impress as Farhan and Gaby / Ghazala, and Karen Bartke's turn as Suzy is particularly heartbreaking. It all serves to show that, rather than being a sensationalised culture clash drama, this story is first and foremost a deeply sad tale of a family's breakup.
Northern Stage at Summerhall, 560 1581, until 30 Aug (not 19, 26), 7.25pm, £14 (£11).