Any Womb Will Do (King Street Theatre)

anywombwilldo1Venue: King Street Theatre (Newtown NSW), Sep 8 – 23, 2013
Playwright: Gavin Roach
Director: Gavin Roach
Actor: Gavin Roach

Theatre review
Gavin Roach is an important voice in Australian theatre. He writes from the perspective of a gay man from Generation Y, and frequently appears on stage as a representation of young men of his community. Even though politics does not seem to feature as an obvious theme in his plays, Roach is a crucial presence in our theatrical landscape in terms of the way his work resonates for sexual minorities, which in itself is political action.

In Any Womb Will Do, the premise of child-bearing for a single gay man is explored. The show is presented in the most simple fashion, a one act monologue with no scene changes, and without lighting and sound effects. Roach is seen simply to be in his lounge room, talking to us about the issues he faces in trying to become a father. His performance begins with a campy and humorous tone, which the audience enjoys and reacts favourably almost like at a stand up show. Roach’s confidence and charm allows him to win the crowd over instantaneously, creating an air of ease and comfort in the theatre. As the play progresses, he switches gear to a more melancholic mode, where unfortunately his command of the space slowly fades. The characterisation becomes less believable and the story’s pathos fails to connect.

Nevertheless, this is an interesting work that addresses real concerns of queer communities as societies the world over progress and become more inclusive. As same-sex marriage becomes de rigueur in many countries, it only follows that family structures are re-examined, and with every other progressive idea, the theatre is where the process begins.

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