• Amy Toledano

Galvanise Presented by Rascal Theatre

What is it?

This touching story entwines history with contemporary issues and cultural and traditional pressures the come from growing up in 2019 Britain.

What's it all about?

Jess (Helena Westerman), Lakshana (Raagni Sharma) and Shanay (Angelina Chudi) are three young friends who face the same issues and pressures as many other women their age. However in this interesting look at cultural and traditional pressures, the three girls all encounter their own difficult and complex problems.

Lakshana, is under immense pressure from her family to do well in school and get in to a top university of their choice. She works harder than anyone, and still it never seems to be enough. Jess too is adjusting to life with her new stepfather, a man who makes her mother extremely happy but treats her in an uncomfortable and peculiar way. Shanay, a budding artist, spends most of her time drawing and trying to support her friends, but finds that she has her own trouble maintaining her mental stability.

As the girls make their way through the school year, they each have their own strong woman from history who they link themselves with, and find that they are not only taking from their strength but are also taking on a lot of their trauma as well.

How did it make me feel?

This show is a lovely female led production that reveals young women at their most intimate. It reveals the genuine obstacles and issues that young people deal with on a daily basis and highlights the intelligence and worldliness they are forced to take on. The writing is gentle and sweet and has a way of representing abuse in it's many forms whether it be mental, physical or emotional. The set is also very well designed, with the two main scenes taking place either side of a rotating wall that is slick and simple. The animation that plays throughput the piece is also a nice touch, complimenting the writing and creating imagery that represents the girls inner-most thoughts. Galvanise is definitely a piece that rings true to the female experience and had me reflecting on my own experiences of growing up.

Anything Else?

The three women work beautifully together, creating a real sense of genuine friendship and emotion that is not always easy to pull off. A real treat to witness.

Amy x

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