In this post #MeToo world amid the rising awareness of female social issues, Walk Swiftly and With Purpose brings us back to where, for many of us, it all began: school. A delightful and universally relatable production, Walk Swiftly and With Purpose excels in its aim to shed light on what it’s really like to be a female youth in 2018, headed into a male-dominated world.
At first, all is very unassuming. You enter into a space in media res, already filled with chatter, to see four regular school girls smoking and teasing. You’ve seen these girls before – maybe you were these girls. This flawlessly segues into a well-paced and dynamic account of four friends—Eve, Mischa, Lana, and Robbie—all at varying stages in their coming of age stories, all as desperate to be understood. They party together, debate together, gossip together; it all may seem like just another teen drama, until you take a moment to truly listen to the magnificence of the writing, the remarkable insight of these four typical schoolgirls, and perhaps take a look at your own preconceptions.
Siofra Dromgoole’s perspective on how females are educated is where Walk Swiftly stands on its own. These girls have a lot to say, and not a lot of opportunities to speak out; they don’t just giggle over their new crush, they contribute to political and social debates that are happening in the world today. At the mention of Taylor Swift, these unassuming schoolgirls dive unflinchingly into a debate about feminine equality, double standards in the media, and how professional women in a patriarchal society are always given less of a fair share than their male contemporaries. The smooth transition onto laughing about their crushes demonstrates the extent of social consciousness in today’s young women. It is possibly the most authentic portrait of contemporary youth at the Fringe this year. Regardless of who you are, the message is simple: listen to these young women. What they’re saying, feeling, the mountains they have to climb—it’s all important.
The vibrant energy and believable chemistry of this very young cast quickly negate any sense of having heard this story before. The performance space is well utilised, and the flow of the narrative doesn’t feel stagnant, underutilized, or overcompensated. It is perhaps less polished than it could be and ends quite abruptly, but that raw edge works to this play’s strengths.
A fresh new perspective on a current social topic, Walk Swiftly and With Purpose is guaranteed to catch your attention, force you to listen, and remain with you hereafter.
Walk Swiftly and With Purpose
theSpace on the Mile
August 14 -25
Image: Three Sisters Productions