Written by Valerie David, Pink Hulk is a one-woman play about “the journey to find the superhero within.” It is a personal story of David’s experience with cancer diagnosis and remission.
In confronting and recognising her own ‘Hulk’ and mortality, David addresses her own story with humour, honesty, and, yes, happiness.
She is a strong writer and a charismatic performer, so Pink Hulk connects quickly and easily with the audience, right from the moment she discovers the lump that would turn out to be breast cancer.
Incidentally, the good and bad of the American health service is clearly spelt out here; David’s insurance didn’t cover her diagnosic appointment, but there is no waiting list to get into the clinic you want.
Valerie David is a brave, inspiring woman who makes her cancer life-affirming, her potential demise celebratory. This is a show for everyone, as half of us, statistically, will face this illness or one of its variants in life.
“I am ready to kick cancer’s ass,” says David while wondering if a double mastectomy will leave her unattractive to men and curtail her sex life. It’s a strong acceptance of her body’s frailty.
Pink Hulk is a show that makes you stop and think. It is no way self-pitying or maudlin – quite the reverse. There are wry smiles and belly laughs, and it is all totally relatable.
As a digital production, this is a great success, fully captioned, with a chatty and open performance that quickly lands. An honour to watch it.
For more on the National Women’s Theatre Festival, go to their website.