Welcome to A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer.

Complicite’s online resource gathers together practical advice for dealing with cancer, and explores different ways of talking about the scariest word we know.

It’s a companion to our musical A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer, co-produced with the National Theatre in association with HOME Manchester.

Here you can watch our film the little c, which takes you behind the scenes of the production. You can listen to the experts - the patients, scientists and creative team who made the show happen - discussing their own attitudes to cancer. And you can find out more with links to further reading and sources of support and information.

Here you can watch the backstage rehearsal trailer for A Pacifist's Guide to the War on Cancer. We’re also working on a film, the little c, about the making of the show and the real life cancer patients who inspired it.

Patients

Here you can listen to patients discuss their approach to cancer — living with it, dealing with it and talking about it.

Click on any of the profile titles below to watch the interviews.

Lara Veitch

Lara Veitch (collaborator) has Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, a rare inherited genetic predisposition towards cancer and she is a trustee if The George Pantziarka TP53 Trust. She had been advising the cast and creative team on A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer with her experience over many years of having cancer.

Gia Jones

Gia Jones (collaborator) is based in Michigan, USA and has been advising the cast and creative team of A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer on living with cancer for the last seven years.

Stuart Owen

Stuart Owen (collaborator).

Anna Beecher

Anna Beecher (collaborator) is a writer and a theatre maker. Her brother John was diagnosed with cancer when he was 24 and died when he was 25. Anna has been working with the production team sharing her brothers’ experience of cancer.

Scientists & practitioners

Here you can listen to scientists & practitioners discuss their approach to cancer — living with it, dealing with it and talking about it.

Click on any of the profile titles below to watch the interviews.

Prof. Valerie Beral

Prof. Valerie Beral (cancer epidemiologist) is Principal Investigator for the Million Women Study cohort of women’s health, and leads international collaborative studies of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer. She spent almost 20 years at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine working in the Department of Epidemiology before becoming the Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit in Oxford in 1988. A major focus of her work has been the role of reproductive, hormonal and infectious agents in cancer.

Dr Kathryn Mannix

Dr Kathryn Mannix is a Consultant in Palliative Medicine and Clinical Lead for Supportive, Palliative and End of Life Care for Northern England and contributed to the development of the script of A Pacifist's Guide to the War on Cancer.

Dr Aarash Saleh

Dr Aarash Saleh is a specialist trainee doctor in respiratory medicine.

Creative Team

Here you can listen to the creative team discuss their approach to cancer — living with it, dealing with it and talking about it.

Click on any of the profile titles below to watch the interviews.

Brian Lobel

Brian Lobel (co-writer) is a New York born London based performer, and co-writer of A Pacifist's Guide to a War on Cancer. For the past decade he has been a critical voice in the world of cancer care, patient experience and medical education. His work BALL & Other Funny Stories about Cancer, and his exhibition Fun With Cancer Patients bring together many of his creations on the subject. His work has been seen throughout the UK and in more than 25 countries internationally. He is a Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at the University of Chichester and is a Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fellow.

Tom Parkinson

Tom Parkinson (composer) is a composer and sound designer working primarily in an interdisciplinary context. He has made the music for over 50 staged works in 20 countries. In addition to Bryony Kimmings, regular collaborators include the choreographers Keren Levi and Ivgi & Greben and theatre-maker Sharon Smith. He has worked with/at the National Dance Company of Korea, Prague Chamber Ballet, Holland Festival, the National Theatre of Tunisia, the Royal Opera House, the Young Vic, Forest Fringe, Julidans, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Dance Theatre Yekaterinburg. He occasionally writes about contemporary music for the Guardian and is currently doing a PhD in music composition at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Bryony Kimmings

Bryony Kimmings (writer / director) is a performance artist, writer and comedian. She creates fearless theatre to provoke social change. Previous works have seen her retracing an STI to its source (Sex Idiot), spending seven days in a constant state of intoxication (7 Day Drunk), becoming a pop star invented by a nine year old (Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model) and looking at silence around male depression (Fake It ‘Til You Make It). Kimmings has performed all over the world including The Southbank Centre, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Helsinki Opera House, Croatia, Culturgest – Portugal, Fusebox Festival – Texas and can sometimes be caught doing funnies on telly.

Amy Booth-Steel

Amy Booth-Steel (actor) played Stephen’s mum in A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer.

Naana Agyei-Ampadu

Naana Agyei-Ampadu (actor) played Gia in A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer.

An all-singing, all-dancing examination of life with a cancer diagnosis. This brand new musical confronts the highs and lows of the scariest word we know.

Bold, brave
and very brilliant’ Independent
on Bryony Kimmings

Bryony Kimmings creates fearless theatre to provoke social change. Her collaboration with Complicite looks behind the poster campaigns and pink ribbons at the reality of cancer: waiting rooms and chemo suites, changed bodies, family pressures and financial worries.

Expect big anthems, shiny costumes, blood, tears and real cancer patients in this riproaring, heartbreaking celebration of ordinary life and death.

Contains adult themes and strong language

Book by Bryony Kimmings and Brian Lobel, music by Tom Parkinson and lyrics by Bryony Kimmings

Cast

Production

Bold, brave
and very brilliant’ Independent
on Bryony Kimmings

Find out more

If you have anything that you think should be included in this part of the site – from sources of support we’ve missed, to your own Pacifist’s Guide – please get in touch with us at email@complicite.org

We’d also love to hear your feedback on what you’ve found helpful in this online resource, and where we could improve.