BWW REVIEW: Captivating, Creative And Current, COCKROACH Contemplates A World Where Revenge For Violence Against Women Is Served By An Indestructible Insect
Friday 7th September 2018, 7pm, Sound Lounge Seymour Centre
COCKROACH is the latest marvelous mix of entertainment and education to come from Writer and Director Melita Rowston. This work serves as a cautionary tale for the men in society who may wish to do women harm or seek to absolve themselves of responsibility for checking their friends, family and colleagues with the cry #notallmen when the women of the world have finally stood their ground with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement.
Rowston has a reputation for wonderfully crafted works that both entertain and inform with well researched material. For COCKROACH she has creator and performer Leah Donovan perform the solo work with live music and sound effects provided by Benito DiFonzo. This work, that is more dramatic than some of Rowston's other shows, sees a young woman simply referred to as 'C' taking the form of a giant cockroach after a messy breakup that has left her broken and vengeful.
Donovan, in ripped skinny jeans and a pair of cockroach wings, gives the work a great physicality as she rolls, scuttles and hops about the small stage which is littered with garbage bags. She presents C with both a fabulous characterization of what one might expect a cockroach to sound like if they could speak, and a more refined tone as she explains the premise of the need for justice along with a brief lesson in Roman mythology and her general illustration of the events that occur to make her angry enough to seek revenge.
The desire for justice is followed through over the course of what seems to be a single night, but the extent of C's rage covers a range of stories over time. There is a dark twisted comedy to the work as recognizable cases are referenced, no names are mentioned but they are obvious enough, but the most notable perpetrator of despicable acts and attitudes to women is left untouched, possibly due to the scale of the offender. Through music, spoken word poem, dance and generally absurd expression the feelings and desires of many women are captured fabulously and without apology to the men in the room who hopefully realize that they can't hide behind #notallmen and unless they are actively checking the behavior of the men around them, can't absolve themselves of playing a part in the violence and denigration of over 50% of the population.
Powerful, creative and unapologetic, this is a fabulous feminist piece of work reminding the world that women are fed up with men getting away with violence and degradation, being let off by the courts and the community that is all to happy to paint the woman as the aggressor despite the truth. Whilst the Sydney Fringe season of COCKROACH has ended, hopefully it will be restaged soon.