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Celebrity

11th Jul 2024

Rachel Galvo on London life, following your passion, and what it means to be a ‘Shite Feminist’

Niamh Ryan

Rachel Galvo is the next rising star in the comedy world

With tickets for ‘The Shite Feminist’ in Dublin and London selling out instantly, it’s been all go for the 24-year-old. Her.ie spoke to Rachel Galvo about her upcoming show at Fundrum in the dllr Mill Theatre on Friday 12th July.

Having grown up nearby, she has fond memories of Dundrum Town Centre – Christmas shopping and after school cinema dates with her mum.

“I also went to the Mill Theatre with my class, we went to see a Shakespeare show when I was younger. I remember thinking, ‘I definitely need to be on that stage – why am I in this audience?'”

“And then I went to visit the theatre like two weeks ago, and it was insane standing on that stage. I can’t wait.”

Rachel will be performing her sold-out one woman show ‘The Shite Feminist’, which she wrote in her master’s year in acting school.

I tried to fit into the role of what the perfect woman in society is.”

The show touches on her personal experiences of going to private school in South Dublin, and covers everything from body image and sex to Catholic guilt.

“I’d like to think growing up that I was, you know, a loud and proud and confident woman…as far as being feminist, I thought I was,” she explains.

“And then I came to acting school, we actually had to read books on feminism.

“And I realised that throughout my time in Catholic school and in South Dublin, I got more and more quiet.”

She said she found herself trying to be the ‘perfect woman’ in society’s eyes.

“Be less quiet, be less opinionated. Giggle instead of cackle, these aspects.”

‘The Shite Feminist’ looks back on her life growing up, and what she describes as the pull between wanting to be a good Christian girl versus wanting to fit with the popular crowd.

Prior to Fundrum, Rachel has only performed the show in the UK to a British audience. Despite minor cultural differences, she says the crowd is always entertained.

“They’ve loved it because it seems quite foreign to them, the whole Irish Catholic experience and talking about the three big C’s – communion, confirmation, confession.

“The Irish people in the audience laugh because they relate and then so they play off each other quite nicely.

“One person will look at the other and be like, is this true? Did you put on a little bride costume at the age of seven and then the other person would be like yeah, isn’t that hilarious?”

“When I’m in London I’m talking about Ireland as if it’s like heaven”

Living in London, Rachel has also experienced some culture shocks herself.

Being a much bigger city than Dublin, she says it’s a “whole different way of living”.

“You can’t just text your friend and be like will we go for a swim, will we go for a drink. You have to plan your social life in advance.”

However, the 24-year-old often finds herself travelling back and forth between the two, and is grateful for being so close to home.

“Distance does make my heart grow fonder. When I’m in London I’m talking about Ireland as if it’s like heaven,” she says.

She initially worked at a corporate job after finishing acting school, but has since left to pursue her dreams of performing.

She speaks about friends who work a regular 9-5, how they have their salary predictions calculated for the next five years.

“Obviously I can’t help but think like, is this risk too big that I don’t have anything to fall back on?”

However, finally pursuing her dreams seems like a no-brainer now.

“It’s going really well now and I think I would have been very disappointed if I was lying on my bed and I had never taken that risk,” she says.

“I love the spotlight. I really do.”

Rachel has been acting and performing since the age of three, and often says she was born to be on stage.

“I love the spotlight. I really do.”

She cites women like Aisling Bea, Joanne McNally and Sharon Horgan as some of her muses.

Creator of Fleabag, Phoebe Waller Bridge, is another big inspiration for her writing:

“I think she’s insane. I’m going to the Edinburgh Fringe so I’m excited for that because that’s kind of where she started her journey.”

“The way I started my page was as authentically me, so I don’t have to think about keeping up appearances.”

While pursuing her passions, Rachel has also amassed 35,000 followers on TikTok. However, she doesn’t view herself as an influencer, per se.

“I tried to make my page, when I started, kind of a breath of fresh air from that and just trying to be relatable for young girls,” she says.

“The way I started my page was as authentically me, so I don’t have to think about keeping up appearances.

“The people I see online, no one looks like that. I mean, I don’t look like that, my friends don’t look like that, so I’m going to post me because this is what I look like. This is my tummy, and these are my thighs, and I’m happy.”

Addressing negativity is also something she finds deeply important, and says she finds talking about hate comments more beneficial than deleting them.

“I confront those comments and talk about fragile masculinity and their need to comment on women’s bodies, et cetera.”

That way, other young women that may see the comments won’t think negatively about themselves.

“If you follow what you’re really passionate about and you’re good at it, it won’t feel like work.”

Throughout the interview, it’s clear that Rachel has a strong support system in her family, especially from her mother.

“My mum always says follow your passion and the money will follow. If you follow what you’re really passionate about and you’re good at it, it won’t feel like work.”

Despite having a lot on her plate, Rachel alludes to some possible projects down the line, including a podcast.

However, she says her main focus at the moment is her upcoming shows in August and September.

“I would love to write a TV show,” she adds.

“I think it would be very funny. A Derry Girls-esque, South Dublin version,” she muses.

Rachel Galvo will kick off Fundrum on the 12th July with her hit comedy show ‘The Shite Feminist’. The annual Fundrum festival will run from the 12th-16th July, and will include events like Sip and Paint and family friendly activities for all ages.

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