Tag Archives: Gavin Roach

Any Womb Will Do

11 Sep

I understand the desire that makes children.

I don’t understand the desire to have them.

Of course, I simply mean I’ve experienced one desire and not the other. I don’t actually understand any of it.

I’ve watched friends tie themselves in knots with the desire to have the baby that never comes.

And I’ve watched friends shocked and dismayed to find themselves expecting.


Any Womb Will Do is about a single gay man’s desire to have a child. Written and performed by Gavin Roach, it’s heartbreakingly honest.  Roach is a consummate performer, and he is both utterly in control and entirely open. Funny and moving, the piece is a wonderfully generous and genuine sharing.

This is what I want.  But what are we to do with our desires?

Attempt to fulfill them?

Or attempt to transcend them?

It’s a choice we must make with each of them.

At least a billion people on our planet believe desire should be transcended. All of it.

In the West, we find this a challenging notion, almost life denying. Unless we feel there’s something morally wrong with our desires, we try to satisfy them. Only when we find that a desire can’t be achieved do we ask for the strength to rise above it.

To pursue, or to let go?

In terms of desire, I don’t know what I want.

Veronica Kaye


Any Womb Will Do

King Street Theatre

Sun and Mon til Sept 23



Who Do You See?

11 Sep

We call them audiences. Not spectators.  Listening matters in the theatre.

Who Do You See? further privileges sound by eliminating pretty much everything else. The whole play is performed in the dark.  There’s a subtle scentscape (coffee, lotion) but the focus becomes almost entirely on what you can hear.

Writer Gavin Roach has cleverly crafted five interlocking contemporary stories. Director Sarah Vickery elicits engaging vocal performances from her actors – David Griffiths, Emma Jones, Suz Mawer, Jack Michel, and Christian O’Connor.

Who Do You See

Who Do You See? is an intriguing title. The implication is that we’ll attempt to imagine the unseen individuals telling the tales.

But the experience actually opens up to something more fascinating and thought provoking.

The stories are simple and gentle, and span only a brief period in the character’s lives. Roach wonderfully captures the minutiae. Life under a microscope.

Ever put a piece of yourself under a microscope? What you see is no longer you. Self hood is an optical illusion, created by distance. Too close, or too far, and we disappear.

Roach’s intriguingly precise observation creates an effect that is somewhat existential rather than essential. It is as though we’re exploring Being; the space in which we experience being human, as against something particular and personal. This effect is further enhanced by Roach’s decision to have the actors tell the character’s stories in third person.

Self as illusion?

Our self – the individual who of our existence – is also like our shadow. It’s entirely forgotten at our best moments; becoming invisible when we look to the light. It also ceases to exist when we’re plunged into total darkness.

At other times, it shrinks and it grows. But it is never us.

Veronica Kaye

Who Do You See?

King Street Theatre Sun and Mon til 23 Sept