Top Theatre | Serenity and hilarity at the soul of WIT

WIT
Bådteatret, Nyhavn 16Z, Cph K; March 6-22; 140kr, whynottheatre.dk

You might expect a theatre play about a woman diagnosed with cancer written by an undergrad to be something you’d only ever watch if your kid had a part. And in most cases you’d probably be right. Except, maybe, this one.

Margaret Edson wrote the play WIT one summer while working at a bicycle store and planning to do a doctorate in English literature. The idea was to tell the story and move on, but it wouldn’t end there.

More than a decade and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama later, productions the world over have disproven the initial criticism that WIT is overly intellectual and therefore difficult to produce.

Edson brought her diverse experiences in religious education, medicine and academia to bear in her stage play about an English poetry scholar (Sue Hansen-Styles) hospitalised with terminal ovarian cancer.

In the midst of doctors, nurses and porters dashing about the hospital room, talking about her in the third person, she tries to come to terms with life and mortality.

No, Why Not Theatre’s play may not be as easy to digest as your lunch salad. But it won’t leave the kind of sour aftertaste in your mouth that you might expect from a piece set in the imminence of death.

Spiced with sharp-tongued humour, WIT is a life-affirming play about dignity, forgiveness and compassion.





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