Synopsis: 'Let me start by telling you I’m ok. I’m just in a small situation involving a pesky Cancer tumour in my left nork, but I’m not dying and I’m the luckiest person in the entire world. Cos fuck cancer, man. Fuck Cancer.' Jokes, truths, and one or two poignant bits from a comic who survived Breast cancer.
Interview with Lana Schwarcz
What is Lovely Lady Lump?
It’s a 75 minute live show (comedy) about my experience with Breast Cancer.
You’re also the director of Sir Dancealot. What continuities and discontinuities do you see between these two works?
I think I approached both these works with a genuine sense of fun, and putting things right in the world. There is a little puppetry in Lady Lump, but not a lot, whereas Dancealot is ALL puppets.
What are your long-term plans for this work?
To tour for at least a couple of years and to get the message out about early screening, in particular for younger women. It does also have the potential for a web series.
How and why are you thinking of this work as a potential web series?
I guess because so many things happen along the road of treatment, and different things accost you, plus the repetitive nature of the appointments lends itself to a series format. ALso… There are some really funny gags in there. When I do it live, I place the scenes and characters in animated projection, but as a live action series, we could actually place them on location. Pretty sure one of the projections we use is in Tahiti, so bring on that funding! (Only joking – any palm trees with do…)
What type of feedback have you received so far about Lovely Lady Lump?
Only positive feedback. Survivors, patients and people who work in the health sector really get a big kick out of it.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
No, but making the show was some pretty major therapy for me. Although I’m pretty sure that actual therapy would have cost me far less. So the SHOW itself helped changed my attitude to what I was going through and how I felt about it all.
What are you looking to achieve by having LLL more visible on this platform?
Hoping to generate interest in the show, obviously ticket sales to the upcoming shows in Canada (Ottawa, Hamilton, Winnipeg) and Edinburgh, and if someone wanted to throw money my way to develop it into a web series, I’d be open to that opportunity.
What type of impact would you like Lovely Lady Lump to have?
A healing one. I hope it prompts everyone to get screened early. I also hope that it helps current patients and survivors to see the funny side of their own rollercoaster ride, and to put on stage/screen a reflection of their own fears, thoughts and frustrations. Each cancer experience is different, but the fears that surround diagnosis are surprisingly universal.
I also hope it stops people from referring to cancer as a “journey”. I hate that term. I prefer the term hostage experience.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about Lovely Lady Lump?
Is there anything funny about Breast Cancer? Isn’t Lana simply taking the piss out of something that has killed so many people? How can cancer be a laughing matter?
Yeah… all of those. I have my own answers to them, but if you want to spark a debate about it, that’s a good place to start. However, if you are picking a side to be on, don’t forget that I hold the cancer card, which usually means I win.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Please come to see the show!