Dark beginnings don’t always have dark endings: that was the message of China’s first play written and performed by cancer patients which debuted in Beijing this week.
“Do not be afraid cancer companions” tells the story of Anhong, a lung cancer survivor, who discovers the power of drama therapy in her recovery.
The plot mirrors the personal experiences of Shanghai-based director Dai Rong, who wrote the script while in remission.
“I wrote the play according to where I am in my own life. What my characters do in the play, I would ask myself what I would do in my own life,” says Dai Rong.
“So I just wrote how I lived, so it means a great deal to me. Writing also helped me to review the process of these past five years and how I overcame my fear and depression.”
But it’s not just her story. With a cast made up mostly of cancer patients, the production explores the experience of living with the disease.