Lovely Lady Lump
Australian comic tells breast cancer where to go
This hour from the charming Lana Schwarcz is part stand-up, part group therapy as it sticks two fingers up to breast cancer. Thanks to a throwaway comment from a stranger she met while walking her dog – an 'angel', she calls her – Aussie puppeteer Schwarcz was spurred on to get a mammogram, which revealed a malignant tumour in her left boob. Mercifully, they caught it early and she survived with Lovely Lady Lump her go at a comical unloading of that difficult period in her life.
Schwarcz is delightful, bravely bringing the audience into her world of doctor appointments and radiation therapy, seguing between tit-baring re-enactments of hospital sessions and straight up stand-up. Her jokes don't always land, and she occasionally dips into over-explaining when lines don't get the laughs she's expecting, but there are some stand-out comedic moments, including a gleefully gory take on her post-diagnosis nightmares.
Lovely Lady Lump is strongest in its cathartic, light-hearted takedown of a tragic disease. Schwarcz doesn't shy away from the personal dimensions of her show, acutely aware that some punters will relate to this story through first-hand experience. There's more than a few teary eyes at the end, but plenty of smiles too.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 29 Aug (not 15), 4pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).