REVIEW: A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer

On Tuesday, two members of the Student Opportunities Team went to see A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer at the Liverpool Playhouse Theatre as part of our City Socials. Commissioned and produced by Complicite, the piece began its run at the National Theatre, and is now off on a small UK and Australian tour… the first destination obviously being chosen as Liverpool. A Pacifist’s Guide defines itself as an ‘all-singing, all-dancing examination of life with a cancer diagnosis’, but have a look below at our two team members’ 100 word reviews of the show:

Alex: The concept of this play is obviously fascinating; a cancer musical? It all seems a bit wrong, but believe me it is very, very right. Using Bryony Kimmings’ pre-play research about cancer as a starting point, the piece felt incredibly natural, not to mention informative, as the cast told us about the science behind the illness, literature surrounding it, and most importantly honest feedback from cancer patients. This developed an amazing ‘to the point’ guide about how to be a good friend to someone who has cancer. Although the action became quite emotional through it’s non-naturalistic representation of two of the characters personal stories, the fourth wall was re-broken at the end in a finale which made the audience connect like I’ve never known before. I was captivated throughout and can’t stop talking to people about it, so not only have they got a mega fan over here, they’ve also got people talking more openly about cancer. Tick, tick, tick.

Lucy: I was unsure of what to expect when I went to watch ‘A Pacifists Guide to the War on Cancer’. Any play about cancer is surely to be one that leaves you thankful you brought extra tissues. However, what I didn’t expect is to leave that theatre feeling so much more educated on cancer. The informal tone Bryony and the actors decided to take with the piece felt so much more effective. It felt like a great opportunity to be reminded that none of us are alone when it comes to dealing with cancer, we can all help educate each other. Hats off to Bryony Kimmings, she created a show that was unlike anything I’d seen before. I would definitely recommend this show!

This amazing play is on in Liverpool for another 3 nights and LJMU students can get £5 tickets! To book yours, phone the Box Office or pop in with your student ID card!

Pacifist's GuidePacifist's Guide 2


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