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News archive 2003

Cancer Tales: Nell Dunn's latest play to premier in London

06 May 2003

The world premier of the first full length performance of Nell Dunn’s new play Cancer Tales will be staged for one night only at the King’s College London Greenwood Theatre, 55 Weston Street, SE1 on Friday 16 May at 7 pm.

Published in 2002 and unveiled for the first time to the public now, Cancer Tales tells the true story of five real women, each on a different and unique journey through cancer. Their stories are love stories.

It is hoped that the play will be go on to be used as a teaching resource in medical schools to promote understanding and better cancer care. Nell Dunn, who is best known for her book and then play Up the Junction and the play Steaming, says what motivated her to write Cancer Tales was her ‘fascination with how people find a new authenticity between one another when in crisis.’

Margaret Drabble, one of the UK’s leading writers, said of the stories:

‘These are moving, authentic voices, speaking from real experience and real emotion. Nell Dunn has an unparalleled ear for the speaking voice of emotion, across the social classes. She treats an important and painful subject with insight, dignity and bravery. She is never sentimental, never alarmist, always true.’

Clare Moynihan, The Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital Trust, commented:

‘These stories illuminate the power that kindness and humility have on those facing a life-threatening illness and, indeed, on us all.’

Cancer Tales is directed by Trevor Walker, who worked with Nell Dunn and the actors on the play from early days. It was given a rehearsed reading at RADA in November 2001 and most recently an extract was performed for Macmillan Nurses in April.

The play is being presented in aid of Maggie’s Centres. Maggie’s offer information and support to anyone affected by cancer within homely and uplifting centres based next to major cancer treatment hospitals across the UK.



Tickets £15 (£10 students)

The event is organised as part of the King’s College London Art of Dying Symposium 2002 - 2003

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