Victoria Fringe Festival 2017 – Lovely Lady Lump
Review by Tony Carter – Showbill.ca Staff Writer
August 29, 2017
Lovely Lady Lump is a comedy show about breast cancer. It is also the funniest show you will see that you might struggle to laugh at. While that may not sound like a ringing endorsement it is absolutely intended as one.
Comedian and puppeteer Lana Schwarcz came all the way from Melbourne, Australia to tell her story of diagnosis, learning to cope, and her ongoing recovery. She does this through visual and audio cues on a projector and screen (framed by home-made boobs), as well as a plethora of props and puppets. She is careful to start the show on the right foot— which in this case is her left breast.
She stands against the screen bare-chested and use the projector and sound system to mimic her first radiation appointment three years ago. The show is structured by these visits, with each one separated by the chronologically told story of her experience alongside trippy, surrealist digressions like cancer as a horrible stand-up comedian and her cells as a nightclub for hormones. It is simultaneously extremely funny, deeply emotional, and informative about why exactly it is so important to get checked regularly, and that there is something on the other side of the c-word.
“Finding ways to laugh kept me light and buoyant on this sea of shit,” says Schwarcz. She has made it part of her mission to find other people affected by this and help them find ways to laugh as well. And she has put the work into this show to make that happen, as the tight pacing and inventive structure is sure to keep audiences entertained. Opening night did see several audio flubs, but given that the show’s tech learned those cues only an hour before performing that seems perfectly forgivable.
Lovely Lady Lump is a smart, funny, emotional ride that doesn’t hold anything back. Be sure not to miss this one.
Created by Lana Schwarz
Victoria Fringe Festival
Venue 2 (Downtown Community Centre)
- Aug 31 @ 7:30pm
- Sept 1 @ 4:45pm
- Sept 2 @ 2:15pm
- Sept 3 @ 7:30pm