Review: Cockroach

Cockroach takes vengeance on those who have wronged female kind

★★★★
theatre review (adelaide) | Read in About 1 minute
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Cockroach
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Published 05 Mar 2019

“REVENGE” screams the Cockroach; an embodiment of female anger and discontent. In a body no longer recognisable as her own, Cockroach rages at society for trying to make her conform and ultimately creating her to be vulnerable to assault.

Since the time of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, women have been objectified, their voices silenced and their pain trivialised. Disfigured, alien-like and contorted, Leah Donovan is thrilling as she retells tales of sexual assault with new happy endings for a post #MeToo age.

“He is known to me.” A mantra repeated and repeated by Donovan as a valiant confession – the physical strength in her stance echoed in her voice. This strength is what is so commanding about Donovan, even in its most delicate moments, she represents the female form with a fierce steadiness.

There is a visceral quality to her performance which is as compelling as it is revolting. The physical nature of the Cockroach character is clearly expunged during the storytelling moments. The level of detail in Melita Rowston’s writing is incredibly confronting, but its humour and quick wit make for a watchable show, albeit full of cringe and discomfort.