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A Complicite Associates and National Theatre co-production in association with HOME presents

A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer

Book by Bryony Kimmings & Brian Lobel
Music by Tom Parkinson. Lyrics by Bryony Kimmings

Directed by Bryony Kimmings

A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer is an all-singing, all-dancing examination of life with a cancer diagnosis. This brand new musical takes you on a whistle-stop tour through five unconventional stories about cancer, confronting the highs and lows of the scariest word we know.

Bryony Kimmings creates fearless theatre to provoke social change. Her collaboration with Complicite will look behind the poster campaigns and pink ribbons at the reality of cancer: the waiting rooms and chemo suites, the changed bodies, the family pressures and financial worries.

Expect big anthems, shiny costumes, blood, tears and real cancer patients in this rip-roaring, heartbreaking celebration of ordinary life and death, scratching at the battle metaphors that surround cancer to reveal what really lies beneath.

Commissioned and produced by Complicite.

“As director Kimmings handles the large cast and full band with complete confidence… Anyone who has cared for somebody with a long-term illness will have experienced the delirium generated by too little sleep and too much fear. A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer catches this situation superbly.” – Manchester Theatre Awards

★★★★★ “It is simply unmissable. You want to know how there can be a musical about cancer? Go and watch it, you won’t regret it. Pure perfection.” – North West End

“A funny, provocative and refreshing piece of drama that left some of the audience in tears by the time the curtain came down… A profound and memorable theatrical experience.” – Mancunian Matters

“This brave musical comedy – yes, comedy – grasps the nettle of prejudices and untruths to reveal a story of hope… The second half is [so moving] some audience members are in tears when they are encouraged to interact at the end.” – Sale & Altrincham Messenger

“A powerful work that is not afraid to touch the core of its subject…  Never did I think it possible to make an audience laugh this much in a musical about cancer.” – The Manchester Review

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer and would like support, we recommend you contact the Macmillan Support Line free on 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk, or find your local Maggie’s Centre or visit Maggie’s Online Centre maggiescentres.org.

“Bold, brave and very brilliant!” – The Independent on Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model

★★★★★ “Artfully crafted, tightrope walkingly fragile and really rather beautiful.” – Herald Scotland on Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Not sure in A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer is for you? Have a listen to what people have been saying about the show so far…

Photography Christa Holka
Image Art Direction David Curtis-Ring
Post Production Marcelo Dalle Grave