A narcissistic showboater clad in gold lamé, desperately wanting to impress, seduce and unwittingly destroy us: This is Cancer.
Cancer is a deluded, egotistical jerk who goes on his own journey of denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance only to discover that the whole world hates him in this award-winning one-man satirical show March 19 at 7: 30 p.m.
The Chilliwack Arts & Cultural Centre Society presents cancer-survivor Bruce Horak, who portrays Cancer giving the cabaret performance of a lifetime in a theatre show that is funny, uplifting, charming, and powerful.
Horak survived cancer as a child, and having lost his father to it almost six years ago, he is well aware of the stigma the word carries in our culture.
"It's always been a part of my life," he says. "There's always been this demon hanging over my head of this fear of cancer, and certainly in my family because it's so predominant. There are a couple of phrases or mantras that were used during the creation of the piece, one of which was to go into the dark places with the flashlight. And the flashlight that we're using is the light of humour. We've found that for a lot of people that can be very difficult, and make them rather uncomfortable, but the flipside of that is there's a great deal of release."
Walking an emotional razor's edge, Horak as the character Cancer boasts irreverently about his most recent victims and then seems hurt to discover that we all despise him. It's hilarious, but he doesn't stop at grim humour: Cancer is also "a collector of moments," and these include some of Horak's own experiences with the disease.
The creepy personification of humankind's most feared disease is not something anyone ever expects to meet, much less find him to be a weirdly charming cabaret performer. With missing teeth, dark rings around his eyes and lesions on his face, Horak becomes the dreaded Cancer. He loves people and wants to eat us up; he loves us so much, and then we die. People love him back . . . or so he thinks.
This is Cancer is an opportunity for the audience to see the world through Cancer's eyes. It's completely bizarre, and one of the most rewarding and difficult pieces Horak says he's ever done.
? For tickets call the centre box office at 604-391-SHOW (7469), visit in person or purchase online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca.