• Amy Toledano

Tumours Presented by Lydia Harrison and Graynation Productions

Updated: Jul 17, 2019

Image courtesy of Will Lambert and Ashleigh Lawrence

What is it?

A one woman show that follows Jay (Ashleigh Lawrence), a woman convinced she is going to join the 27 club and die before her 28th birthday.

What's it all about?

Jay comes from a long line of women who have died of cervical and ovarian cancers. And now, as her 28th birthday lies just ahead, Jay prepares herself for her imminent death. She is convinced that she is going to join the likes of Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse in the 27 club, and there is no point in avoiding it.

As Jay reflects on her life, growing up in Sheffield and losing her mum at the age of fourteen, she reveals some dark truths about her perceptions of herself, based on the world and experiences she has been exposed to.

Unhealthy diet fads, eating disorders and loss of virginity are huge factors in the piece, along with the negative relationship Jay has with her father. We are learn through Jay's often biting dialogue that she has been brought up in an atmosphere that does not promote the healthy development of women.

As Jay explains the obvious nature of her body to doctors, nurses and friends, her frank nature causes anxiety to those around her, and as we witness Jay's varied and reoccurring cervical screenings, so too do we realise that perhaps Jay is right.

The final moments of the piece bring about morbid thoughts and actions, as Jay takes her place, literally, by laying down in a pile of momentos that all represent important moments from her life, to drift off to sleep and never wake up.

How did it make me feel?

This dark comedy is one that makes the audience laugh in spite of itself. Clever dialogue and a likeable character in Jay, Tumours weaves through this young life in an interesting and hilarious way.

Ashleigh Lawrence is brilliant in the title role, and you can feel that the piece has come from a personal and very raw place. Her writing is witty and often pushes itself to the edge, never backing down or hiding from the truth and grittiness of itself. The use of the microphone throughout is a very clever device and helps with separating the worlds and giving us an idea of time.

Some of the scenes are quite graphic, which adds to the earnest nature of the piece and puts the issues of the show at the forefront with nowhere to hide from them. Direction by Chris Yarnell is lovely and gives the show the blueprint it needs to express its important message.

Where Is It Playing?

Mountview's new campus boasts a large blackbox space, that serves to give Tumours the room it needs to explore and breathe.

Anything Else?

Punchy and funny this show is absolutely not one to miss at Edinburgh this year!

Amy x

Tumours is playing at the Assembly Rooms Front Room at 14:30 from 1st to 24th August (except 12th and 19th) at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019.

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