CORA will be right with you, explains the press officer who has lined up my chat with the creator of hit musical Glasgow Girls, as she is just finishing an interview with a robot…

Quelling fears that the end of the world really has come, and journalists are being replaced by droids, I wait patiently to speak to the woman who came up with one of the most important and life-affirming shows of the last decade.

Glasgow Girls makes you want to jump out of your seat and cheer at the end. It is a triumph of friendship and human spirit over injustice, and a heartwarming celebration of the city and its people.

It’s the story of seven teenagers from Drumchapel whose lives changed forever in 2005 when their school friend and her asylum-seeking family were forcibly taken from their home to be deported.

The young friends took a stand to fight for her rights, and ultimately the rights of all children of asylum seekers, inspiring a whole community to unite behind its residents. In 2010, theatremaker Cora Bissett turned the incredible story into a musical.

Now the show returns with a 2019 tour. In Glasgow, it will be performed at the King’s Theatre which, explains Cora now that she has been released from the clutches of the robot (it turns out it was research for her next show, Interference, about our relationship with technology, phew), is a huge milestone for the show.

“It feels groundbreaking,” she agrees. “It can be hard to get the big theatres to programme home-grown work. To be at the King’s alongside the huge touring shows and West End hits, feels like a massive achievement – a dream come true.”

When she was first drawn to the story of the Glasgow Girls, Cora could not have foreseen that issues surrounding refugees and asylum seekers would still be so urgent almost a decade later.

“Not a day goes by at the moment, when we don’t discuss and debate migration,” she agrees.

“I’m sad that’s the case. Every time we bring the show back, it feels as though it is speaking to a very particular moment in time.”

Cora explains: “Every audience sees it from a slightly different angle. Today, people are much more aware of asylum seekers but there is also a huge amount of fearmongering going on. The rise of the right across Europe, the media-fuelled anti-Islamic rhetoric, the frightening popularity of Trump’s crude divisive policies, walls and exclusion zones - against this landscape, it brings compassion back to the people at the centre of these crises.

She adds: “Glasgow Girls always been about trying to educate people about the people behind the story – who they are, why they have a right to be here. If the situation was reversed, all of us would do whatever it took to get our children to safety. These people are not just jumping on a ship in the hope of making some kind of sneaky deal. The truth is so far from that narrative. They left lives that were rich and fulfilled and happy to flee from their homes, usually because of wars we had a part in creating.

“Once you see people as human beings, it gets better. These schoolgirls were friends. Agnesa wasn’t their ‘refugee pal’, she was just their mate. They wanted to help out a mate.”

The idea to make such a hardhitting story into a musical came, says Cora, after she watched Tales from the Edge, Lindsay Hill’s brilliant documentary of the Glasgow Girls’ story.

“I saw it and thought – I have to tell this story, and the way to do is through music,” she smiles. “These girls, their bold and brilliant energy in wanting to do what was right, made the story sing.

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

The original Glasgow Girls and the women who have played them over the various productions have become a tight-knit community of their own.

“Everyone really bonded and it has been lovely, to watch the girls grow up and become incredible women,” says Cora. “They are a force of nature. Today’s young people have to be. They are finding their voices much more powerfully than I ever did, using social media to get instant responses, to connect and build a community.

“And they have been incredible – look at the way young people in America are standing up to change the country’s gun laws.

Glasgow Girls kicks off its 2019 tour in its home city on January 15. The message remains the same and arguably more important than ever.

“To be a Glasgow Girl means something beyond gender,” says Cora. “It’s a broader term really, that says – yes, I’m from a place that is open to all people, where integration is everything. Scotland heartily welcomes all cultures to our country.”