BATS Theatre, Studio, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

01/03/2016 - 05/03/2016

NZ Fringe Festival 2016 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

A one-man show about fish, forgetting and the fear of dying single.  

Rob is gay.
Rob has a pet fish.
Rob’s Nonna died.
Rob is scared.
Rob is losing his memory.
Rob wrote a play about it. 

My Pet, My Love weaves together three stories about loss, love and the fears we face. An innocent child discovers death for the first time; an elderly gay couple struggle with the onset of dementia; and a 32 year old actor reveals his fears from the trivial to the profound. 

“[4 stars]” Time Out Melbourne

“Gaetano’s acting here is provocative and in parts stunning.” Planet Arts Melbourne

BATS Theatre – The Studio, 1 Kent Tce, Te Aro, Wellington 
1-5 Mar
9:30pm, 60 min 
TICKETS: $18/$14/$12  

Theatre , Solo ,

Fears exposed

Review by Ewen Coleman 03rd Mar 2016

The poignancy of loss, namely memory loss, is the theme of Rob Gaetano’s one-man show My Pet, My Love.

Written in response to his Nonna, his Italian grandmother, suffering dementia for 12 years and watching the effect this had on his father, her son, Gaetano has created an original and often telling portrayal of his experiences. [More


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Fractured memories of childhood: sad, funny, hilarious, confused

Review by Maryanne Cathro 03rd Mar 2016

This is my first time in BATS’ new Studio space. Forty seats tops, a white box – air conditioned (thank you!) and intimate. Any performer taking it on is up close and personal with the audience. It is an ideal venue for this intimate and sensitive one man show.

My Pet, My Love is deeply personal to its creator and performer, Rob Gaetano. It is a tale of insecurities and fears to which most of us can relate.  

In the programme Rob hopes we can relate to his fears, laugh about them and be moved. The shark fear – thank you Rob from me, for laying out my own irrational fears verbatim. You have me from that moment on.

This piece is a mixture of monologue, mime and memories. Fractured memories of childhood, of first meetings – and memories that don’t exist but could. Fear is a game of ‘What if?’ Russian roulette we play with ourselves, and Gaetano pulls the trigger again and again. From the child whose imaginative world revolves around a blue fish called Bluey, to meeting a partner in a club for the first time, to his Nonna (grandmother) fading away into dementia. Some are sad, some funny, some hilarious, some confused.  

Gaetano’s performance is enhanced by Jai Leeworthy’s stunning soundscape and by simple but compelling lighting by Suze Smith and directing by Lily Fish. The nickel keys strewn across the stage is a great metaphor for memory and the sound of them hitting the floorboards is beautifully musical; like breaking glass. 

If there is nothing in this show that triggers your own fears or memories then there is still a worthwhile theatrical experience to be had. If, like me, you find resonances with which to empathise then the engagement is all the deeper for it.


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