Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre
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BALL & Other Funny Stories About Cancer

Sydney Ideas



Reginald Theatre Seymour Centre Cnr of City Rd and Cleveland St Chippendale University of Sydney

BALL & Other Funny Stories About Cancer is a collection of performances reflecting on a history of cancer and the patient experience. Drawing from ten years of monologues and spoken word performances, Brian Lobel presents an hour of humorous, provocative, interactive and thoughtful reflections, which have been presented throughout the world in a wide variety of medical, theatrical and artistic contexts.

On the day of his cancer diagnosis, Brian began writing notes about his experience with illness: the unfamiliar language, the awkward silences, the strange sensations. The writing eventually became BALL, his first full-length monologue which toured the world to thousands of audience members including medical students, doctors, patient groups, and people who just wanted to hear the (un)inspiring story.

But just like so many people with cancer, Brian noticed that he did not stop thinking about his body, and particularly how it was changed through illness. Instead of shutting up and getting 'back to normal', Brian continued to create shows from different distances from his illness. Each story captures a different moment in the journey, and asks different questions along the way.

Brian’s performance will be followed the opportunity to ask questions from the floor.

Free and open to all with online registrations required
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Brian Lobel is an award-winning artist, teacher and scholar, and one of the most innovative and respected names in medical humanities and psychosocial oncology. He is the author of BALL & Other Funny Stories About Cancer, an ongoing series of creative projects related to patient experience (including Fun with Cancer Patients) which have toured continuously for the past decade.

Brian is currently a Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fellow (2014-2016), Senior Lecturer in Theatre at University of Chichester, an Associate Artist with Performing Medicine and a Core Artist with Forest Fringe. Other projects – on medicine as well as other subjects – have received major funding and commissions from Arts Council England, motiroti, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, and have shown in over 25 countries internationally.