CA125 review: amusement and emotionality by the Act One’s latest production

by Rachel Nurse


No words can describe the perfection of Act One’s CA125 performance. Not a single Act One show has been a disappointment of any kind, yet no other show I’ve seen ever has made me laugh until it hurts and then cry a bucketful of tears to the extent CA125 did.

Sally is a 45-year-old who develops ovarian cancer which relates to life-changing circumstances. Her daughter Grace and best friend Karen support Sally on her complicated journey of hospital appointments, trying to keep her life as similar as it was before as possible and then learning that the level of protein in your blood cannot measure your quality of life.

Cancer is a six-letter word which gives people an array of emotions and heart-breaking experiences. CA125 captivates the emotional rollercoaster that cancer suffers face along with their family and friends, who experience cancer in a different way. The mixture of relationships between the characters embeds how cancer affects us all some way or another.

Jessica Shiner (Sally) and Jessica Tait (Grace) were outstanding actors. Of course, the entire cast and crew were fantastic, but their on-stage mother-daughter relationship reminded audiences that everyone some way or another has been affected by cancer. The disheartening words, “I’m afraid the blood test showed a high level of CA125,” crashed the audiences hearts and the portrayal of a cancer diagnosis throughout the play was realistic and thought-provoking.
A heartfelt performance is the best way of putting CA125 in a short amount of words. However, the beauty of the show is that various parts of the performance are going to be relatable to whoever is watching it. CA125 is more than just a play about cancer, CA125 is a play about how this changes lives and how people cope when cancer creeps upon them.

The cast and crew of the Act One’s original play CA125