The Orchid and the Crow
- Lorna Irvine
- 19 August 2015
This article is from 2015
A testicular cancer survivor's story
Daniel Tobias, Australian actor, playwright and creator of Fringe favourites Die Roten Punkte, has created a show about surviving testicular cancer with a lightness of touch that is a little perverse, and rather moving.
Addressing the issues of having a Jewish mother, but not really buying into organised religion, he relays a story about how he and his family are kind of 'Happy Christmas bacon Jews'. Tracing a line through adolescence to first diagnosis, his jaunty cabaret tunes and rock parodies make gentle mockery of human fragility. Tobias' sweet, open face brims with cheekiness, an endearing storyteller, as he turns to controversial cyclist and testicular cancer survivor Lance Armstrong – his own Jesus in his darkest hour, complete with illuminated shrine.
The wordplay of his musical numbers is witty – even if not always coherent – and the complexities of rigid belief systems on point. The song about his operation is a kind of beautiful eulogy to masculinity, sexuality and hope.
In a festival populated by a fair few navel-gazing theatre writers, Tobias has more to explore than their hackneyed issues. That he does so with such humour and integrity says so much about his artistry and personality – never self-pitying or whiny.
Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, until 30 Aug (not Aug 24), 4.10pm, £11–£12 (£10–£11).