A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City

by Halley Feiffer

2 October – 27 October 2018

“I can make cancer jokes. Because I have cancer”

The European premiere

A European premiere from acclaimed American playwright Halley Feiffer, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City.

Karla, a foul-mouthed twenty-something comedian, and Don, a middle-aged man embroiled in a nasty divorce, are brought together unexpectedly when their cancer-stricken mothers become roommates in the hospital. 

Together, this unlikely duo must negotiate some of life’s biggest challenges… while making some of the world’s most inappropriate jokes.

Can these two very lost people learn to laugh through their pain and lean on each other, when all they really want to do is run away?

Playwright Halley Feiffer returns to the Finborough Theatre following last year’s sell-out production of her Outer Critics’ Circle Award nominated I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit… received its critically acclaimed world premiere Off-Broadway in 2016 at the MCC Theater at Lucille Lortel Theatre before its West Coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse.

About the Playwright Halley Feiffer

Playwright Halley Feiffer is a New York-based writer and actress. Her full-length plays include I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard (Atlantic Theater Company, directed by Trip Cullman), which was nominated for the John Gassner Playwriting Award at the 2014-2015 Outer Critics Circle Awards, and received a sell-out production at the Finborough Theatre in 2017; and How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, directed by Kip Fagan). Her plays have been developed by Second Stage, New York Theatre Workshop, the O’Neill and elsewhere; and are published by Dramatists Play Service and Overlook Press. Her work has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theater Festival and three times by Manhattan Theater Club. She teaches Playwriting at New York University. She has written for the Starz series The One Percent (co-created by Alejandro Iñárritu), the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle, the Showtime series Purity (based on the novel by Jonathan Franzen) and original pilots for FX and TNT. She is currently a producer on the upcoming Showtime series Kidding, starring Jim Carrey, and directed by Michel Gondry. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University. She is a former Playwright in Residence at Stella Adler Studio, and a winner of the Young Playwrights Competition and the Lotos Foundation Prize.

About the Director Bethany Pitts

Director Bethany Pitts is an award winning theatre director. Theatre includes Fuck You Pay Me (VAULT and Assembly Festival - VAULT People's Choice Award), Brutal Cessation (Theatre 503 and Underbelly), Spine (Soho Theatre, 
Underbelly and National Tour – winner of Fringe First, Herald Angel and Stage Award), Tether  (Underbelly), Much 
Further Out Than You Thought (Underbelly and National Tour – IdeasTap and Underbelly Award Winner), FreeFall (Pleasance Islington – nominated for OffWestEnd Best Director) and Desert (National Tour and Latitude Festival). Assistant and Associate Directing includes Frogman  (Shoreditch Town Hall, Norwich Playhouse and UK Tour), The Here and This and Now (Southwark Playhouse and Theatre Royal Plymouth), Dark Vanilla Jungle by Philip Ridley (Soho Theatre and Pleasance Theatre - Fringe First Winner 2013) and Theatre Uncut (Traverse Theatre, Eidnburgh, and The Young Vic - Fringe First Winner 2012). She was Assistant Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth from 2012–2013, working under Artistic Director Simon Stokes, and also a former Resident Assistant Director at Theatre 503.

The Press on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit...

★★★★ 'Spiky... Gallows humour rules' Evening Standard

★★★★ 'Very funny and very adult... Fast and crisp direction... roller coaster of a ride' British Theatre

★★★★ 'Charming, funny and thoughtful play' Everything Theatre

★★★★ 'Excellent, funny, poignant piece' Theatre Box

★★★★ 'Moving, wince-inducing and really funny... not to be missed' Spy in the Stalls

★★★★ 'Extremely good' Londonist

★★★★ 'A fantastic show. Definitely ope to catch’ Pocket Size Theatre

★★★★★ 'Brutally honest and devastatingly funny' London-Olios

★★★★ 'Ecstatically indelicate humour’ London Student

★★★★ 'Thoroughly enjoyable' London Pub Theatre

★★★★ 'Totally enthrals... contemporary drama at it's most inventive' LondonTheatre1

★★★★ 'A super production, skilfully directed’ Closeup Culture

★★★★ 'Hilarious and heartbreaking... passionate performances’ Frost Magazine

'Completely absorbing...don't miss it’' Fringe Review

'Exciting and unexpected, very funny’ The Prickle

'Unfettered by restraint’ Breaking the Fourth Wall

'A dedicated cast' A Younger Theatre

The Press on Halley Feiffer's I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard At the Finborough Theatre

“It is that rare and thrilling thing – a work with the unmistakeable voice of a real writer.” Gerald Berkowitz, TheatreGuideLondon

★★★★★ “Remarkable, witty, heartbreaking, significant theatre.” Catherine Sedgwick, The Upcoming

★★★★★ “Insightful, sometimes uncomfortably relatable theatre.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

★★★★★ “Emotionally stunning… powerful… compelling… great writing” Everything Theatre

★★★★★ “Thought-provoking drama at it best and highly recommended.” Act Drop

★★★★ “An extraordinary play which is funny, gritty, and self-aware.” London Pub Theatres

★★★★ “Interesting, funny, extremely unnerving” Reviewsgate

★★★★ “A blazingly impressive piece of writing, immaculately staged and acted to the hilt.” WhatsOnStage

★★★★ “Hits home with a sense of primal instinct.” Tom Birchenough, The Arts Desk

The Press on Playwright Halley Feiffer

"Feiffer is building a reputation for fearlessness, and it’s on full display here.” The New York Times.

“Thank God for the warped creative mind of playwright/actress Halley Feiffer… an uproarious and deeply unsettling…dark comedy.” TheaterMania on How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them

“Viciously funny… Brutally effective.”Time Out New York on I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard

“One of the best plays I’ve seen this season… Provocative, sensitive, shocking… The writing is polished and probing… A tense thriller that left me shaking” New York Observer on I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard

“Spectacular tension and real danger” Entertainment Weekly on I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard

2 October – 27 October 2018

Tickets and Times

Tuesday 7:30pm
Wednesday 7:30pm
Thursday 7:30pm
Friday 7:30pm
Saturday 3:00pm
Sunday 3:00pm

Approximately 80 minutes with no interval.