BATS Theatre, Wellington

10/03/2015 - 11/03/2015

NZ Fringe Festival 2015 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

Gavin Roach’s 3 Play Bonanza 

After sell out seasons around the world, Australia’s Gavin Roach is bringing not one, not two, but three of his one man shows to the New Zealand Fringe! Hold onto your hats and get prepared to experience Gavin Roach’s 3 Play Bonanza! 
All at Bats Theatre, 9pm:
Confessions of a Grindr Addict: 6th-7th March
Any Womb Will Do:  8th-9th March
I Can’t Say the F Word:  10th-11th March

I Can’t Say the F Word

Millions of words are spoken each day but for some of us there are words that, for whatever reason, cannot be said. I Can’t Say The F Word is a humorous yet deeply personal insight into how just one word can have a profound and lasting impact on an individual’s identity.

“Gavin’s confident writing is matched with an assured, well paced performance.” – Stage Whispers 

“Roach himself could charm anyone, and his impish stage persona makes the artificial construct of a theatrical narrative flow as naturally as any of Alan Bennett’s seminal talking heads.” – Fringe Journal

“In leaving cliché and tired presentation behind, Roach’s offering is a triumph in connecting an all-too-common experience with something far greater.” – Samesame

Venue: BATS Theatre1 Kent Terrace
Dates: 10th-11th March
Time: 9:00pm
Price: Full Price: $18.00 | Concession: $14.00 | Fringe Addict/Fringe Artist: $12.00 | Three Show Pass: $36.00 
Tickets/info: Online: www.bats.co.nz or www.fringe.co.nz  
Phone: (04) 802 4175 

Theatre , Solo ,


When the bullied becomes the bully

Review by Patrick Davies 11th Mar 2015

This is Gavin Roach’s third of three plays to open in the Wellington Fringe. I haven’t seen Confessions of a Grindr Addict nor Any Womb Will Do, but this show seems to be a departure. In the others Roach plays a character riffing on an aspect of life, warts and all. I Can’t Say The F Word is no-nonsense talking to by Gavin as himself.

The set up is simple: Roach is seated as we enter and then delivers his show with a few props along the way. Roach loves words, what three degree person wouldn’t? He invites us to shout out our favourites. Listen to the vowels, the rhythms, the consonants, the way they feel on the tongue. He speaks briefly about the ones of yesteryear, the ones of now and all the while barreling towards the one he hates. 

SPOILER ALERT: He hates the word faggot [ends]. He can’t say it; well, more than that, he won’t. Which is a bit of a cheat for someone doing a show on words and what they really mean when the title is inaccurate – but that’s also the point.

The rest of the show is a trip along his memory lane as to the merciless bullying he suffered during his school years. One lucky (?) member of the audience who came out with the F word is the one who’ll have to say it for him. Her voice becoming smaller and smaller as we go on.

While effective, there is something sinister and bullying about this move. As there is with the rest of the show. I have sympathy for someone so affected by bullying, but that’s how I feel more and more. Roach is embittered by his experience and I feel harangued more than moved at the end of the show. I feel punished for what has happened to him.

Yes, I agree that words can hurt, that some things cannot be reclaimed. I don’t use ‘faggot’ to describe anyone but I feel as if I have used it against him, more than the (possible) reason for the show. Be careful what you say (as Sondheim reminds us), “children will listen”.

It is entirely from Roach’s perspective and the palpable feelings it stirs up in him overwhelm any empathy I might have. I feel he should be performing this show at his old school in order to exorcise a particular demon that he wears like a monkey on his back.


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