Brian Lobel: BALL and Other Funny Stories about Cancer



For the past 10 years, Brian Lobel has been performing his work about cancer, illness and survivorship to medical students, universities, galleries, cabarets and museums internationally. The three central works: BALL (2003), Other Funny Stories About Cancer (2006) and An Appreciation (2009) – each chart different parts of the cancer experience (from diagnosis, patient perspectives, sexuality, propriety, the pressures of post-treatment survivorship) and attempt to challenge the traditional cancer narratives of survivorship or death.

As an Associate Artist of Performing Medicine, Brian has performed BALL in multiple contexts: for general audiences at the Royal London Hospital; for audiences of medical students at Barts & The London and King’s College School of Medicine; and for professionals working across medical disciplines. An Appreciation has also been performed at Sadler’s Wells as part of The Anatomy Season (2011).

The trilogy of works were performed as a singular piece from 2011-2013 and toured to London, Chicago, Manchester, Edinburgh, Leicester, Brighton and beyond.

Brian’s other work related to cancer, illness and disability include Carpe Minuta Prima (London, Yokohama, Austin, San Diego, Helsinki), a podcast entitled While You Wait… for a Cancer Diagnosis (for Fuel), a radio piece entitled Cancer and Cigarettes (for Stupid Cancer), and a large scale exhibition project Fun with Cancer Patients made for Fierce Festival in Birmingham in 2013 built in conjunction with the Birmingham Teenage Cancer Trust and Wellcome Trust.