Zip It – Reviewed

Sexual harassment and domestic violence can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time, but women and girls are particularly vulnerable. Individual experiences and the frequent news headlines highlight this on an almost daily basis.

Recent estimates indicate that 1.6 million women aged 16 to 74 experienced domestic abuse in the last year. More than 640 million women aged 14 and older have been subjected to intimate partner violence. Fewer than 40 per cent of the women who experience violence seek help of any sort.

Caroline Adebayo

‘Zip It’ is an immersive play through which the audience follows the lives of two young women and their experiences of sexual harassment and domestic violence. The play is written by Director and cast member Bel Harrison, who wanted to highlight the impacts of sexual harassment and domestic violence on women, and to advocate for change since incidents are rarely answered by justice in the courts. Zip It was also produced by an all female creative team with an all female cast made up of members of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.

Hester Cox

I attended the Tuesday evening showing of the play at Stage One at the University of Leeds with my boyfriend and approximately 40 other audience members.

Natalia Izquierdo

The narrative of the play is framed within the setting of a reality dating gameshow. The cast highlight how the responsibility of change with regards to sexual harassment and domestic violence is so often put on individual women, calling for them to be vigilant, to avoid ‘dangerous’ situations, and to not provoke action against them. However, what Zip It does, through its clever narrative and digital imagery, is to question why so many women feel unsafe. It also encourages the audience to focus on what really needs to change, and how we can all educate people and create a situation where women feel safe to be themselves, to use their voices and to be heard.

Rachael Kingsland

Despite the dark themes, Zip It was also layered with comedic elements, which did not detract from the importance of the topic, but instead took the audience on a journey of emotion and left us with a lasting memory of the key issues portrayed.

Maya Willcocks

Zip It is heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer, where Bel hopes that the play will stimulate discussion and help to stimulate change, because whilst the subject matter is ever prevalent as evidenced by the stories of violence against women that have been presented in the news recently, there remains a lack of change in response to these crimes, both in terms of legal action and public behaviour.

Photographs provided by Zip It. Cover photograph is Bel Harrison.

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