PanoDrama (HU): ’Tis a Pity It’s Cancer
pregnancy and cancer angst with a happy ending, or always look on the bright side of life
Cancer is taboo in Hungary and there is a stigma attached to it. PanoDrama aims to change that through a series of projects running since 2016. The founder of the company was diagnosed with the illness and has made it her mission to enlighten and educate her audience about it. This time through a tragicomical musical.
Hungary’s only documentary theatre’s new play tells the story of two friends in their early forties. One of them gets pregnant, while the other is diagnosed with cancer. As it turns out, the two conditions show many parallel features. The story is full of company members’ biographical details and experiences in a Hungarian health care system on the verge of collapse, but still full of devoted, outstanding healthcare professionals who regard the patient as their true partner. Unlike most of PanoDrama’s work, which discuss controversial social issues, this play is only partly verbatim, partly it is written by the dramaturgs.
The tragicomic story is full of twists and turns, and walks the line between the realistic and the surreal throughout. The actors sometimes burst out singing or dancing suddenly, to the tunes of well-known songs from a plethora of genres from workers’ march songs to folk dance. The complex project includes TIE side programmes, as well as talkbacks after every other show with experts, who have been working with PanoDrama for two years and served as interviewees for several scenes.
Script: Anna Hárs and Anna Merényi
Lyrics: Anna Merényi
On stage amongst others:
Zsombor Kövesi e.h.,
Music Director: Éper Furák
Choreography: Adrienn Hód
Video and Sound Design: Péter Fancsikai
Costume Design: Dóra Pattantyús
Dramaturgy Adviser: Judit Garai
Assistant to the Dramaturgs: Sára Törley-Havas e.h.
Production and Directing Assistant: Tímea Éva Bogya
Dramaturg: Anna Hárs
Co-director: Tamás Ördög
Concept and Direction: Anna Lengyel
In Hungarian with English subtitles