The 20th Ottawa Fringe Festival takes over downtown June 15th-26th with over 55 shows and artists from around the world. For your consideration: Lana Schwarcz!
A native Australian, Lana is known for her outrageous stand-up comedy, her fantastical puppeteering, and her accomplished acting (yes, she has been on Neighbours). This year, Lana is bringing her wickedly funny solo show, Lovely Lady Lump, to the Ottawa Fringe. The dark-comedy shares her unique wry take on surviving breast cancer at 40. It is a gutsy and heartfelt theatrical romp through one Melbourne comic’s “Breast Cancer Adventure.”
First off, it’s been almost two years since you were diagnosed with breast cancer — how are you feeling?
I feel great! I still get easily fatigued, but health wise — completely clear of cancer, which is great.
Your Fringe tour takes you to L.A. before Ottawa; are you going anywhere else?
My tour is just under 3.5 months, which means I miss Melbourne winter! The tour takes me to L.A., Ottawa, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Edinburgh, and Tromso, Norway before coming back home. My God. That’s some miles right there.
Have you been to Ottawa before? What are you looking forward to here?
Yes, I brought my other show Grandpa Sol and Grandma Rosie to Ottawa in 2009. I loved it while I was there last time. Also, I sent Justin Trudeau an invitation to come see the show (maybe a little bit as a joke?), but I kind of really do want him to come.
Describe your show in five words or less.
Hilarious, touching, real, raw, vibrant.
What can audiences look forward to with Lovely Lady Lump?
My own chesticles, projection, stand-up comedy, storytelling, puppets, characters, and there is one bit of audience participation, but all that happens is that an audience member gets a lovely massage. So if you want a free massage, sit down in front, slightly right of centre.
What does your family think of the show?
It was difficult for them. My dad found it hard to see me semi-naked on stage (I don’t think he’d ever seen my boobs before!), but they love what I’ve done with it.
You refer to your breast as a “nork” — I’d never heard that one before. What are some of your favourite euphemisms?
That’s a very Australian euphemism! Norks, fun bags, B1 and B2 (do you have B1 and 2 over there from the TV show Bananas in Pyjamas?), I do also love chesticles, tatas and baps. My mum used to refer to hers as “teabags.”
Any other shows you’re excited about at Ottawa Fringe?
I’ll be doing a show with Crush Improv where they take the inspiration for their show from five minutes of mine — so I’m definitely looking forward to that!
What do you think of the colour pink?
I hate it. I have big gender stereotyping issues with the colour pink. But it’s now forever associated with the type of cancer I have and that’s annoying. Why do boys get to be represented by a primary colour, while us girls only get represented by a SHADE?
Lovely Lady Lump runs at Arts Court Theatre
Thursday, June 16th at 9PM
Saturday, June 18th at 4PM
Sunday, June 19th at 10PM
Tuesday, June 21st at 8:30PM
Friday, June 24th at 10:30PM
Sunday, June 26th at 6:30PM