Reviewed – 21st September 2017
“the sensitivity and strength brought to this character was truly incredible and reassuring to watch”
Over 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK as stated on Breastcancernow’s website. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer amongst women with one in eight developing breast cancer in their lifetime.
With such shockingly high statistics, Lucy Light written by Sarah Milton, could not be a more relevant and important piece of theatre that audiences should watch. This piece was produced in association with The Eve Appeal, a charity that focuses on fighting women’s cancers, particularly gynaecological cancer which they say is neither a well-profiled or funded cause.
Lucy Light carefully diagnosed the multifaceted impact of cancer on an individual’s life, whilst maintaining a light tone. We are taken on a nine-year journey through Lucy’s life from the moment her mother died of cancer. Six years later, she herself is diagnosed with breast cancer and has to make the difficult decision as to whether she wants to keep her breasts or have them surgically removed. The play beautifully highlights the impact that breast cancer could have on a 22 years old’s life.
For me, it was really eye-opening seeing the potential impact that cancer would have on such a young life. There are moments on stage when Lucy ponders and realises that she will never be able to breastfeed a future child, if she has the mastectomy. A child that she perhaps may not be able to have, because her cancer has the potential of returning. These were all things I had never really previously thought about myself.
Lucy and best friend Jess’s relationship from the moment the show started felt natural and real. I was immersed in the little island they created. Bebe Sanders as Lucy delivered a strong opening, informing us of different aspects of cancer from the science to statistics. She must really be commended for creating a powerful woman on stage. You could still see glints of the 16 year old Lucy even when she was portraying an older self. I thought the sensitivity and strength she brought to this character was truly incredible and reassuring to watch.
This is a really well-structured play that guides us through the beautiful arches in both characters’ journey. Whilst set in York, I still connected with the pair and did start to fall in love with their friendship. Through that friendship, the piece explores the impact of cancer; adding a refreshing and deeper depth to this piece.
Georgia May Hughes was phenomenal as Jess, ably delivering a script filled with great one-liners and comedic moments. As much as Jess was Lucy’s reassurer, her way of supporting her friend on stage also supported us through this journey; a very beautiful feeling for a character to be able to bring to an audience. Jess and Lucy brought such an innocent depiction of true friendship. The many moments shared by these two filled the room with a warm and positive energy. You truly felt like you wanted to be a part of their friendship.
The set design gave that illusion of being really detailed but it was very simplistic at the same time. The space itself never changed throughout the piece, but the actors transported us to different locations as we used our imagination, and it worked.
The sound design by Andrew Reynolds was great, I thoroughly enjoyed identifying the changes in time with the different song being played. Each and every one resonating with me.
Beautiful, informative and emotional, Lucy Light is a show everyone should watch. Scott Ellis is clearly a very skilled director whom with his strong team of creatives and magnificent cast has created something truly exceptional. Whilst Lucy Light is intrinsically a sad piece, at the same time, we leave feeling hopeful. So thank you for this show.
Reviewed by Daniel Correia
Photography by Hannah Ellis
is at Theatre N16 until 7th October
For further information on the charities mentioned please click on the links below