PTE Mainstage (Venue 16), to July 23
The concept of Calgary actor Bruce Horak’s one-man show is brilliant. The loose-limbed performer plays the dreaded disease as a slick song-and-dance man (with an inexplicable British accent), his form made misshapen under a gold lamé jumpsuit.
Cancer thinks he’s a star — and why wouldn’t he? He has more Google hits than Jesus! — and Horak, who lost most of his eyesight to the disease, parades cockily around the stage like a Vegas showman. "Oooh, it burns," he says with a wink as he downs an antioxidant-rich smoothie.
Horak is a perversely charming presence, even as he cleverly pokes at our fears and superstition (there were audible gasps when he read Terry Fox’s name from the list of people he’s claimed) but the show is uneven. There are deeply moving moments and belly laughs milked from a source that feels forbidden, but other bits feel like filler. However, the moment when a crowd member gets to literally beat Cancer is worth the price of admission.
The last 20 minutes of the 90-minute running time is given over to a Q&A.
— Jill Wilson
From the official Fringe Festival program:
Cancer -- a deluded, egotistical ass -- goes on his own journey of denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance when he discovers that the whole world hates him.
5 STARS "This is Cancer is as genius as it is absurd … allow this remarkable show to spread all over your body" – Edmonton Journal
5 STARS "One of the most brilliant shows the Fringe has ever seen" – Edmonton Sun
Recommended For: Mature Audience
Length: 90 min.
Warnings: Subject Matter, Language