Powerfully Fragile is a new one-act play written by cancer survivor, Briohne Sykes, for the 2013 South East Queensland One Act Play Festival.
The play focuses on the affect a cancer diagnosis has on the lives of four women (and one man). From each of their perspectives, we see a personally touching story of friendship, love, resilience, and the private burdens each character bares.
Author Skyes wrote the play as a cathartic tool during her battle with breast cancer in December 2011, aged 34. She hopes to give the audience a reflective experience and create awareness not only about breast cancer, but its impact on the patients support network.
The format of the play included characters breaking the fourth wall inviting the audience to share in their private battles. Another interesting theatrical device utilised to denote the ever-present black shadow of cancer was that an actor dressed in a black sheet followed our main character throughout.
Although most people have been touched by cancer in some way and the text reflects typical responses from the characters involved, a little more work shopping could even go further into the uniquely personal emotions and reactions that people feel.
Skyes has done a good job in making a sensitive subject accessible to the public via the medium of theatre and has certainly succeeded in creating an opportunity for further discussion amongst audience members.
Powerfully Fragile opened on 23rd June at Murrumba Downs, and will be performed at various venues in the greater Brisbane. The touring schedule is as follows:
26-28 July – Redfest (Cleveland) 0429 898 328
2-4 August – Beenleigh Theatre Group 07 3287 2912
9-11 August – Ipswich Little Theatre 3812 2389 or 3812 3450
6-8 September – Yarrageh (Sandgate) (07) 3869 2099
9-14 September – Brisbane Arts Theatre (07) 3369 2344