Anything That We Wanted To Be

When Adam Lenson was diagnosed with cancer in 2019; it caused all past, present and future versions of him to collide in the oncology department. Billed as part-memoir, part-gig, part-lecture, this affecting piece zaps backwards and forwards through Adam’s life, contrasting childhood hopes, teenaged ambitions, and adult realities with sensitivity and skill.

An endearing and amusing storyteller

The stage is a low-tech mess; neon tubes and low-slung wires leading to a variety of screens which complement the narrative. These in part suggest the medical career Adam abandoned in favour of the theatre, the almost compulsory backstage cable tangles, and the internal knots and neural alarms being triggered within himself.

Lenson is an endearing and amusing storyteller; and there is particular resonance here for anyone with a Jewish heritage, misspent teenaged youth drinking orange WKD, or a cancer diagnosis to navigate. But the central message is universal, and something we have all wondered… what if we had taken this path and not that? What if we had said this and not that? And most haunting of all; how many versions of us are there out there having a better time than we are?

Despite its difficult subject matter, this is a cosy little show which will make you chuckle and ponder in equal measure: and you are likely to leave the theatre suspecting that if you had to choose between the troubles of everyone in the world, you would still probably pick yours.

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Reviews by Rebecca Vines

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

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The Blurb

Everyone has that one big decision, that one big choice, that one big 'what if?'. There's a you that made that choice, and there's another you that didn't. Fifteen years ago, you stop training to be a doctor and choose to be a theatre director instead. But in 2019 when you are diagnosed with cancer, the various versions of you collide. Merging gig, memoir and lecture, this life-affirming new show is about learning to accept the choices you made instead of worrying about the ones you didn't.

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