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