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Female Genital Mutilation playwright wins prestigious award

WINNER: Charlene James [PHOTO CREDIT: The Stage/Julia Underwood]

UP-AND-coming writer Charlene James has won the 47th George Devine award for most promising playwright for her work about female genital mutilation (FGM).

James was awarded the £15,000 prize for her play Cuttin’ It, which also won the Alfred Fagon Award in 2014.

The former Birmingham City University student won the Alfred Fagon Award for best new play after writing a play about Somali girls who suffered from mutilation in the UK.

James said: “I watched a lot of documentaries, some of which showed the actual procedures on girls as young as 7.

"These were the most harrowing and devastating images I have ever seen. And for what?"

On winning her new George Devine award, she said: “I am so thrilled to be added to the list of George Devine award-winners, as these are some of the playwrights who have inspired my work as a writer.”

James was presented with her award by previous winner Nick Payne at an event at the Royal Court Theatre, reported The Stage.

Mike Leigh, Richard Bean and Lucy Prebble are also past winners of the award, which was set up in 1966 to honour Devine, the Royal Court’s first artistic director.

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