Cockroach, Melbourne Fringe Festival Director: Melita Rowston Starring: Leah Donovan Where: Arts House, Queensberry St When: 9.15pm tonight Rating: ★★★★½
By CHERMAINE WONG
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and this show is all about that fury.
Creator and performer Leah Donovan’s show tells a quirky yet serious tale of a woman-turned-cockroach’s hunt to avenge victims of sexual abuse and assault.
Paired with live music by Benito Di Fonzo, Donovan portrays the cockroach woman, C, as she sings, dances and narrates the tale of how she turns abusers, assaulters and rapists into disgusting monsters or worse.
C implies she became this creature and “is like this” because of what someone did to her.
But she doesn’t forget to remind you these are “just cautionary tales”, right?
The show is uncomfortably confronting yet still funny. It begins with cockroaches on the seats as the audience learns how C turns into a cockroach every time she tracks an aggressor down, only returning to human form after she has avenged the victims.
Stories of how women across the world have been raped, abused and assaulted are told throughout the performance. It is then detailed how the aggressors are transformed into non-human forms by C.
A tale dedicated to #MeToo survivors, the show uses the cockroach as a symbol for how they will not die easily, just like a cockroach even without its head or limbs lives on.