- Adam Bloodworth
- 12 August 2019
Raw piece of gig theatre about struggle and survival against the odds
Stuart Saint spent eight long years fighting stage four cancer. He overcame the disease, but still spends a couple of days per month in hospital dealing with the repercussions on his body that the cancer left. Misfit Warrior is Saint's protest show, a fascinatingly high-camp deep dive into survival and resilience.
Saint is an established writer-director in London, and his experience putting on experimental shows on the queer scene has helped him shape his own story into a confident, raw and stylish piece of gig theatre, as personal as it is professional.
Flanked by two dancers, a male and a female, Saint jumps around the stage with the energy of someone who has never even had a cold, let alone a life-threatening disease. An elaborate feathered hat is passed around between performers which appears to lend characters strength, or at least to change the wearer's outlook for the duration that they wear it. It perhaps illustrates the dips in confidence and setbacks Saint has endured on his – let's face it – rather fabulous journey to recovery.
Everything's made all the more compelling by the fact that Saint is still fighting a chronic illness – a final unscripted monologue, which Saint says changes every night, is a miraculously raw piece of confessional theatre. That his fight is still ongoing makes this show even more powerful as not only a piece of theatre, but as catharsis.
theSpace on North Bridge, until 24 Aug, 9.20pm, £10 (£8).