• Amy Toledano

Madame Ovary, Jack Dome, Pleasance Dome

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Pitt

What Is It?

In this autobiographical one woman show Rosa Hesmondhalgh shares her battle with cancer at the age of 23, and how she overcame it with the support of those around her.

What Is It All About?

This is Rosa's year. She is going to take better care of her body, make some really good art, and get her shit together.

And she is getting there. She is on day fifteen of her new yoga course and she jogs on the spot while watching television. She has a date with a guy that seems nice (and shares her deep passion for Louis Theroux documentaries) and she is going to look good. Except she is feeling really bloated lately and cannot seem to get toned up no matter what she does.

After a stomach ache turns into body pain that gets to the point of unbearableness, Rosa takes herself to A&E where a suspicion of trapped wind turns into much more.

Rosa has cancer, at age 23 she has cancer and this is when everything changes.

Ultimately, the chemotherapy works and Rosa is given the all clear, but the harrowing journey to this point is not an easy one.

How Did It Make Me Feel?

There was not a dry eye in the house for this one.

Rosa's frank and honest performance gives the audience room to feel everything that she feels.

There is lovely use of media throughout, with screens showing text messages to google searches to ultrasound images, and it adds a level of humour that often makes the audience laugh in spite of themselves.

Rosa has put together an extremely raw, beautiful piece of work that has the audience from the moment she begins.

It is a rollercoaster, but one that you don't mind being on, because Rosa feels like a mate, and hammers home the fact that this can happen to anyone, and it does.

Anything Else?

Madame Ovary is a heart wrenching piece that will catapult your heart into your mouth and have you praying that everything turns out alright. (spoiler: it pretty much does.)

Amy x

Madame Ovary is playing at Jack Dome, Pleasance Dome until the 26th August 2019.

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