Naoise Murphy (Liz FitzGibbon) doesn’t take any crap. A former kickboxing champion, she knows how to take care of herself. Still, a lot has happened since her teens and at the milestone age of 30, Naoise doesn’t have a lot to celebrate… Written by Liz FitzGibbon and developed with Mikel Murfi, Kicking All The Boxes is a funny and candid view of being an adult. What would your teenage self make of you now?
Bumping into an old acquaintance who shares the same birthday turns Naoise’s introspective angst up to ‘11’ , as her ‘doppleganger’ has the perfect life: a career, marriage, children, and a foothold on the ‘property ladder’. This ‘other life’ certainly puts Naoise’s job as a dog walker/cat sitter into perspective.
By her own admission, Naoise is often angry (and in truth most people would be in the same circumstances). Knowing how her grandmother was attacked in her own home, Naoise is only too aware how some people view women – and anyone who is polite – as easy prey. She’ll be damned if she’ll also be a victim.
Of course Naoise can’t fly off the handle now without thinking of consequences. Asides from the court order which she has to adhere to, Naoise has a 12-year-old son – someone she’s had to care for her whole adult life and a constant reminder of her age. Still, her feelings of frustration and anger haven’t dissipated with time, which is why kickboxing is valuable to her as a pressure valve for releasing pent up emotions. While demonstrations of the character’s prowess only appear at certain junctures, FitzGibbon’s aptitude and love for kickboxing are self-evident.
Over the course of the show, FitzGibbon as a wordsmith displays a knack for dropping in eclectic references that seamlessly fit together. She also has created a character whose outlook and ‘surly demeanour’ challenges conventional wisdom on success and the things that matter.
© Michael Davis 2019
Kicking All The Boxes runs at Vault Festival until 3rd February.