It’s Not Over Yet... and How to Survive the Future

It’s Not Over Yet… choreographed and performed by Emma Jayne Park (aka Cultured Mongrel) is a heart-stopping autobiographical show about cancer. A brave subject for a cancer survivor to perform but also a show which will take some bravery to watch if you have experienced cancer or know someone undergoing treatment, or who may have lost the battle.

An honest, deeply affecting show with enough humour and upbeat rock music to give hope to anyone

The extraordinary element of this show is the humour that Emma Jayne brings to the subject. Sitting throughout wearing a floor-length hospital gown, she pulls at her long blonde hair which comes away in wisps. With her expressive face, she has almost a comedienne’s gift for rueful eyes, downturned mouth, or huge smiles which are all the more devastating as the hair comes away in larger clumps until she grabs a pair of scissors and hacks at it. “That’s better,” she says beaming at us. Pills fall from between her legs, as if she is on the lavatory and the humour grows as more and more pills descend. But after an enactment of the painful side-effects of the treatment, her wide smile is heart-breaking as are her continual assurances that she's fine.

This is an honest, deeply affecting show with enough humour and upbeat rock music to give hope to anyone involved with cancer and an example to all in how to live your life, whatever is thrown at you.

It’s Not Over Yet… is a hard act to follow but How to Survive the Future, choreographed and performed by Tess Letham, is the perfect companion piece with its similar theme albeit of a more light-hearted nature. In some ways, it feels even more slight in contrast to the excellence and depth of the preceding show but there are still many things to recommend and it is enjoyable in its own right. With the soulful eyes of Buster Keaton, Tess is going through an existential crisis of a shallow, narcissistic variety. She attempts to cure what is wrong with her life listening to self-help, Mindfulness tapes while she squirms on a beach mat trying to follow the movement exercises. When this does not help she resorts to frequent wig changes and dresses, the highlight a black sparkling see-through number and floppy hat where she pouts, poses and sings to The Girl from Ipanama which will guarantee you leave the auditorium singing along

Reviews by Stephanie Green

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The Blurb

Double bill. 'I said I’d never make a show about having cancer. This is a show about having cancer. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This is part of the story, but It’s Not Over Yet...' (Emma Jayne Park, Cultured Mongrel). Blending bold imagery and dynamic movement, solo performer Tess Letham takes a journey through a collection of oddly humorous, tragic and alluring scenes derived from momentous life events. This is a powerful, captivating, harrowing account of how to react when everything is crumbling around you.