Review By Rosie Niven
After tackling a myriad of darker topics, performer Gavin Roach has promised that his newest show will be a “happy” and “fun” one. With an in depth explanation of the first time he fisted someone just moments into the start of Your Silence Will Not Protect You, we’re off to a great start.
Your Silence Will Not Protect You is the final part in The Anxiety Trilogy, a trio of monologues that explore everything from bullying, to sex, to the complex nature of love, both for yourself and others. Beginning with I Can’t Say The F Word, and following up with The Measure of a Man, Roach has created a set of narratives that intimately explore his own experiences in a way that has the capacity to resonate with so many.
While the first two monologues in the trilogy capture a range of different experiences, what aligns them is their brutal honesty, and their willingness to shine a light on questions and conversations that have been left in the dark for a long time. Your Silence Will Not Protect You is no exception. I’d say the show touches on some challenging content, but rather, it plunges you headfirst into it. Roach masterfully leads us down the rabbit hole of his own experiences with addiction and mental illness, displaying the raw and honest parts of himself that many of us shy away from.
Roach’s skill as a storyteller is exhibited in full in this solo show. The writing is clever, witty, and bounces sharply from moment to moment, allowing us to witness the intricacies of Roach’s struggle with alcohol abuse and anxiety as part of a greater web of his life up until now. Roach brings this writing to life with absolute ease, balancing delightful moments of comedy amongst darker truths. While we do get to learn about Roach’s fisting adventures, it is these explorations of his mental health that really hit home.
The stage at the Flight Path Theatre is sparse, with Roach sharing his story from the comfort of a single red armchair, accompanied only by a tote bag stuffed to the brim with evidence of the way his life has unexpectedly unfolded. It feels incredibly empty as you enter the theatre to take your seat, but you soon realise that nothing more is needed. Roach’s ability as a performer to draw you in completely is the only thing that matters, and even in the giant space that is Flight Path Theatre, you feel as if you are sitting at the pub with an old friend, enjoying the most intimate of conversations.
This 55 minute show feels like it is over in 20. You fly through Roach’s life in the blink of an eye and are spat out at the other end still hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for the next chapter. My greatest complaint about Your Silence Will Not Protect You is that I wanted hours more.
Your Silence Will Not Protect You is on for only a short run until September 17th at the Flight Path Theatre. If you miss it this time, I hope for your sake it comes back to Sydney.