“Cancer Tales”: Live Theatre and Lively Debate, Royal Society of Medicine, London, 10th October 2008

Organised by their student section, this evening will undoubtedly prove one of the highlights of the RSM’s busy programme of events. Publicity material for the meeting promises an opportunity to “explore emotion and communication in a medical setting through theatre”. This enticing and still relatively novel approach to medical educational meetings will hopefully attract both the converts and the curious to what looks likely to be a provocative and lively evening. 

With Nell Dunn, the play’s author, Trevor Walker, the play’s director, TV and news presenter Anna Ford and Jed Mercuio, doctor turned author and screenwriter of TV series ‘Bodies’ taking part in a panel discussion after the staging of two ‘Cancer Tales’, this evening is surely a must for anyone within traveling distance interested in finding out what incorporating the arts and humanities into medical education means in action.

Cancer Tales tells the stories of five women and their journey through cancer. The plays are based on conversations that author Nell Dunn had with many health care professionals and people affected by cancer (partly prompted by her desire to come to terms with the death of her own father) and the scripts are shaped from the real stories of five particular women. A workbook analyzing the script has been developed to teach healthcare profesionals and will be available on the day

A snippet from a review in the BMJ reads as follows:

‘Five personal histories of pain, hopelessness, hope, resignation, and love are the ingredients for Cancer Tales. These five real stories take us to real problems. The monologues and dialogues are brilliantly written,  transporting the audience into the minds and the lives of the characters. The set is minimal, the play mesmerising’

Book online: www.rsm.ac.uk/students or contact Marie Blythe, The Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street London W1G 0AE, Tel: 0207 290 3846 or email: students@rsm.ac.uk


Medical Humanities

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