Vancouver Fringe Festival review: This is Cancer takes audiences in so many emotional directions

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      “Did you ever think you’d find yourselves sitting in the dark with Cancer?” If you did, I’ll bet you’ve never imagined Cancer as a demented lounge act with a backup band called the Inoperables. Bruce Horak has, and it’s a stroke of genius: his Cancer is a narcissistic showboater clad in gold lamé who desperately wants to impress, seduce—and unwittingly destroy us. “Seeing me for the first time, face-to-face, is huge, life-changing,” he says, in one of his endless double entendres that make you laugh and feel chilled at the same time. Horak walks an emotional razor’s edge, as Cancer boasts irreverently about his most recent victims, then seems hurt to discover that we all despise him: “You mean the chemotherapy and radiation is not just playing hard to get?” he pouts. It’s hilarious, but Horak doesn’t stop at grim humour: Cancer is also “a collector of moments”, and these include some of Horak’s own experiences with the disease. It’s a rare Fringe show that can take you in so many emotional directions in the space of an hour.

      At Performance Works on September 13 (9:35 p.m.), 16 (5 p.m.), and 17 (3:40 p.m.).


      We're now using Facebook for comments.


      Michael Fitzpatrick

      Sep 12, 2011 at 1:43pm

      I was privileged to see this show in a previous presentation in Vancouver. Deeply moving, hilariously funny, a must-see!

      Ian Boothby

      Sep 12, 2011 at 3:33pm

      Such a great show.


      Sep 12, 2011 at 9:12pm

      No matter what your experience with cancer has been, please PLEASE see this show. I caught it in Victoria years ago and still think about it so much. Thank you.

      Rebecca Northan

      Sep 13, 2011 at 8:54am

      I'm totally biased - but this show makes me both proud and humbled at the same time...and Bruce Horak is a national treasure to be sure!