Kara and Glasgow Girls make a song and dance about inspiring teenagers

Local girl Kara Swinney is in the cast of Glasgow Girls which is coming to Glasgow's Kings and Edinburgh King's theatres.
Local girl Kara Swinney is in the cast of Glasgow Girls which is coming to Glasgow's Kings and Edinburgh King's theatres.

The life-affirming hit show ‘Glasgow Girls’ returns to Scotland this month, including dates in the iconic King’s Theatre in Glasgow.

Cora Bissett and David Greig’s award-winning musical has been performed in venues across the UK since its debut at Citizens Theatre in 2012.

It now returns for a tour of Scotland and Ireland – and among the cast is Polmont actress and singer, Kara Swinney.

Kara is fresh from a run of performances at Stirling’s Macrobert Centre, where she has enjoyed playing the title role in ‘Sleeping Cutie’, this year’s fun-filled pantomime which attracted rave reviews from critics and audiences alike.

With just one week off, it’s just as well that performing in ‘Glasgow Girls’ is nothing new for Kara who was part of a sell-out tour in 2017, playing to audiences across the UK.

“I’ve loved being in it,” she said. “It’s really nice it’s getting another chance and in some bigger theatres.”

Kara, who trained in musical theatre at the Conservatoire of Scotland, also toured the UK last year with another hit musical, ‘Sunshine on Leith’, based around the songs of The Proclaimers.

The musical ‘Glasgow Girls’ is packed with vibrant song and dance numbers – but at its heart is an inspiring real-life story of seven teenagers from Drumchapel.

Their lives changed forever in 2005 when their school friend and her asylum-seeking family were forcibly taken from their home to be deported.

The self-titled Glasgow Girls took a stand to fight for her rights, and ultimately the rights of all children of asylum seekers.

“I think the juxtaposition works really well – especially for those who don’t know the story” said Kara.

“It opens with a big musical number and when it starts to get serious it comes out of nowhere which makes a big impact.”

Writer and deviser Cora Bissett explains that the more she found out about the girls, the more she felt a musical was the ideal way to tell their story.

She said: “It was the girls’ energy and can-do spirit that made me feel this story should be sung.

“It was a celebration of solidarity, of a group of teenage girls realising they could affect the world they live in.”

Cora developed the show with the playwright David Greig and enlisted several songwriters – but she was adamant that the truth of the story should not be lost in the dramatisation.

The play’s message of welcoming all cultures continues to be as relevant as it was when she wrote it in 2010.

“It brings compassion back to the people at the centre of these crises, and personalises their stories, so that we as an audience can connect our humanity with theirs,” she said.

Glasgow Girls is at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, from January 15-19 and in the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, from January 23-26. It will then tour across Scotland and Ireland.