Presented by Feast Festival
Reviewed 22 November 2018
Gavin Roach’s latest work, The Measure of a Man, premiered in Adelaide as part of the 2018 Feast Festival.
The play is the second instalment of the Anxiety Trilogy, a series of performances that detail personal insights into lived experiences.
The Measure of a Man is framed around the idea of being larger than average when it comes to sex organs and what this can mean when it comes to sex itself. It is from this point that the anxieties and worries about the body, experiences with other people, and the pressures of gay men expectations are stitched together in an intimate monologue.
The experiences detailed shy away from little and act in a contrast whereby the words spoken list the straight up fear of intimacy and finding a way to express these, interact with the world of performance. The stories expose the fears regularly internalised and highlights what occurs when these meet perceived social expectations.
Roach is a strong performer. He is able to hold command over the stage. Right from the welcome into the venue to once the character has discovered some level of comfort at the end, Roach is able to draw focus back on to him, even with the competing noises coming from outside the venue.
The play itself has a clear sense of purpose. In some areas it came across as a chapter in a much longer series of work but the topics and flow of The Measure of a Man were apparent enough to maintain its position as a standalone piece.
There were some timing issues to be tweaked in regards to lighting and additional audio as the cutaways and interruptions were sometimes delayed or cut in a little early with the monologue.
The overall show is a short but impactful piece with a display of vulnerability becoming strength. The Measure of a Man is running at the Holden Street Theatres for a couple more shows during the final weekend of Feast.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Venue: Holden Street Theatres, 34 Holden Street, Adelaide South Australia
Season: 22-24 November 2018
Duration: 40 mins