Human rights play brings women’s voices to the Carnegie Hall in first Scottish public performance

Human rights play brings women’s voices to the Carnegie Hall in first Scottish public performance

“If you put equal rights at the heart of the thing, you have to be sure that everyone is at the table”

Inez McCormack

Two Dunfermline performances will take place in the Carnegie Hall on 9th September at 3.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are available from OnFife — click here to get your tickets now!

Making Rights Real, a Scottish grassroots human rights organisation, is delighted to announced they will be bringing the human rights play SEVEN to the Dunfermline Carnegie Hall this September. 

A riveting piece of documentary theatre, SEVEN tells the true stories of seven women who bravely fought for the well-being of women, families, and children around the globe. In Russia, protecting women from domestic violence; in Cambodia, rescuing girls from human trafficking; in Guatemala, giving voice to the poor; in Afghanistan, empowering rural women; in Nigeria and Pakistan, fighting for women’s education and rights; and in Northern Ireland, promoting peace and equality. The play has been seen by over 25,000 people in 32 countries and has been translated into 20 languages. September’s performance marks the first public performance of the play in Scotland.

Women experiencing human rights violations are usually excluded from naming and claiming their human rights. This project has been designed to use the play SEVEN as a catalyst for change within the participants’ own lives and communities. All members of the cast are women who are human rights activists in their own communities. The 22 women involved in the project are diverse in terms of their ages, background and experiences, and live all over the Central Belt of Scotland.

Rehearsals have taken place in Inverkeithing and Glasgow since August 2022. Our company of 22 women, including a cast of 14, are all extraordinary women, human rights activists in their own lives and communities, who fight to have their voices heard for themselves and others. From disability access to food poverty, racial justice to education, housing rights to mental health stigma and exclusion.

Increasing awareness of human rights has been a key part of this project. Through rehearsing and performing SEVEN, Making Rights Real and our director Suzi Morrice have used the language of human rights to talk about naming to claiming real rights. 

Inez McCormack’s daughter, Anne McCormack, lives in Kinross and is an activist herself, as Chair of the charity and foodbank provider, Broke Not Broken. Anne, who is volunteering to support this project, said:

“Being part of this production of SEVEN is so important to me for lots of reasons. Seeing activists supporting each other and starting to see their worth is amazing. To see the glint in their eyes, to quote my mum. Part of the legacy she wanted for those she left behind was to continue to be ‘effectively annoying’. Personally, I find the annoying bit pretty easy, but to bring lots of activists together to amplify the voices of Scottish women feels like it will be incredibly effective.”

We are excited our plans for SEVEN don’t stop in September. We then plan to take the play on the road across Scotland, to community venues where our cast live and more rurally, to bring this play to a wider audience.

Participants also said:

I think the subject of human rights is so important and using drama is a powerful way to spread the message. I also would like to meet other activists and campaigners and be able to share experiences with them. I think that being part of this project will help with my campaigning and develop confidence.”

“I believe that creativity, and storytelling, in particular, is a powerful tool for bringing people together and for delivering difficult messages in a way that is both engaging and effective.”

“I’m interested in the stories of the women and would like to learn more about disabled rights.

“I want to be more of an activist”.

“I’ve never done any acting before – this is a new challenge for me.”

More information

Two Dunfermline performances will take place in the Carnegie Hall on 9th September at 3.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are available from OnFife.

Playwrights: Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol K. Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deveare-Smith and Susan Yankowitz

Age range

The content of the play contains depictions of women’s experiences of sexual assault and domestic abuse. Our number one concern is your health, wellbeing and comfort. 14+ and caution advised, viewers should be aware of this content before watching.

Thanks to our funders for their support:

Awards for All, Corra Foundation,  Joseph Rountree Charitable Trust, John Ellerman Foundation, the Pump House Trust, Hugh Fraser Foundation, Foundation Scotland and CERVUS Trust.

SEVEN women whose stories feature in play:

  • Hafsat Abiola, Nigeria, who founded the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy and works to improve relations between Chinese and African women; winner of 2016 Global Leadership Award for Leadership in Public Life
  • Farida Azizi, Afghanistan, campaigner for women’s rights and peace in her country
  • Annabella De Leon, Guatemala, congresswoman and campaigner against corruption and for the rights of the poor; winner of 2003 Global Leadership Award for Political Participation
  • Mukhtar Mai, Pakistan, survivor of a gang rape and campaigner for women’s education; winner of 2006 Global Leadership Awards Fern Holland Award
  • Inez McCormack, Northern Ireland, former president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions; winner of 2002 Global Leadership Award for Political Participation
  • Marina Pisklakova-Parker, Russia, founder of first Russian hot-line for victims of domestic violence; winner of 2004 Global Leadership Award for Human Rights
  • Mu Sochua, Cambodia, former Minister of Women’s Affairs and campaigner against sex-trafficking; winner of 2005 Global Leadership Award for Human Rights.