to hunt violets could be a show about childhood; about adulthood; about the past; about the present; about male and female points of view; about the ramifications of sexual violence; about town versus city; about being sick into a bucket. The fact that it manages to cover all these topics with wit, flair, and devastating honesty, is a testament to the brilliance of Flora Wilson Brown’s script.
It thrums with a deadly accuracy: you can see yourself, and your terrible teenage mates, in every scene. Wilson Brown’s vision of early adulthood is not nostalgic, though it is often funny, and consistently warm. The chemistry between the cast, who seem so at ease despite the restrictions of the Zoom format, means that you’re lulled into enjoying these friends’ company. Then, all at once, you’re taken aback when the dark emotions at the heart of their experience suddenly hit you in the face.
These themes are subtly and expertly conveyed through the characters. Each relationship is carefully drawn, and excellently paced, as we gain insight into the characters’ inner workings as much as we see their banter and teenage posturing. Sometimes this becomes a little hard to follow – the gorgeous melancholy of the epilogue is weakened a little by its length – but we never lose our grip on their personalities, nor entirely lose our sympathy for them.
Wilson Brown has constructed a script and gathered together a cast that are able to balance the emotional whirlwind of the teenage experience with its occasionally devastating consequences. It is wholly engaging, heartrending, and able to overcome the limitations of its format. Although, like its characters, it is currently a work-in-progress, the potential showed here across the board points to a bright and blooming future.