Review Round Up: A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer

This musical by Bryony Kimmings looks at life when you have been diagnosed with cancer. But do critics think it is a strong and worthy musical? 


The Guardian: *** “The show is bold in confronting cancer with ebullient music rather than hushed reverence.”

The Independent: *** “Directed with a terrific dark gusto by Kimmings.”

The Stage: **** “the show is a tender and healing shared experience.”

A Younger Theatre: “There’s no doubt that it will shift some opinions on how to act around someone who is afflicted by cancer, and that in itself is a triumph.”

Time Out: *** “f it was glossier it might be mawkish, but it’s here that Kimmings and Lobel’s DIY roots show through – it feels like a healing, empowering art project that really has something to say, confronting the prosaic, oft-concealed reality of life with cancer head-on.”

The Telegraph: ** “for all its artistic shortcomings, I might yet have gone with War On Cancer’s fuzzy charm were it not for the way it coerces its audience into becoming part of an open therapy session.”

The Times: * “Just cause it’s a musical doesn’t mean it can’t be boring or depressing. This one from the Complicite theatre company certainly had more than a few moments of both.”

WhatsOnStage: **** “A Pacifist’s Guide has a rare bravery and a constant willingness to experiment with form to find meaning.”

The FT: ** “I can’t recall when last I felt so flagrantly emotionally blackmailed by a stage piece.”

London **** “Performed by a tremendous ensemble cast, there isn’t a show around quite like it. It deserves to be seen.”

Broadway World: *** “Uneven, but a bold and challenging show that just about solves the paradox of advocating for truth through a work of fiction.”

The Upcoming: **** “a frank discussion of the realities of illness, one that can hopefully provoke a more honest discourse in the lives of those in attendance.”

Musical Theatre Review: **** “Judged by its musical elements alone, A Pacifist’s Guide to the War On Cancer would be of mild, ineffective interest; as a complete piece it is far stronger and more powerful than one could believe.”

A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer continues to play at the Dorfman Theatre at the National Theatre until the 29th November. For more information and to book tickets visit:




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