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Hanging In There

    by Geoff Saunders


Comedy Drama Play: 'Hanging In There' by Geoff Saunders

Jack Jackson works in computers and likes football, golf and Tuesday evenings in the pub with his mates. He’s married to Biology teacher Anna. They live a life that is quiet and ordinary and they are very happy. They’d be even happier if they could conceive a child, but they’re facing that concern together.

Then Jack discovers a lump on his testicle. Within a few days he is hearing the word ‘Cancer’ from a consultant and his once-cosy life is in turmoil. As he goes through the process of diagnosis, treatment and recovery, his relationships with Anna and his two best friends become increasingly difficult. Jack finds himself feeling isolated and incomplete; 'Hanging In There' tells the story of his difficult journey to re-connection and wholeness.

The play moves quickly between scenes, some depicting the various stages of diagnosis, treatment and aftercare for testicular cancer, finding many moments of comedy and irony along the way while still informing the audience.

Other scenes show Jack and Anna together, following the story of the near-collapse of their relationship as their various fears and worries get in the way of them communicating effectively; others show Jack with his friends Dave and Howard (one unhelpful and selfish, the other over-attentive and needy) and Anna with hers, Jenny (who talks incessantly about her children to childless Anna) and the tough, tactless Trisha. Jack’s cancer causes a ripple effect among all these relationships and all are affected – some positively, others not.

Two actors play Jack in this comedy drama written in support of Orchid: Fighting Male Cancer.


(min: 4m, 3f with doubling, or max cast size: 5m, 6f, 4m/f)

Principals (4m, 3f)

  • Jack Jackson 1 - a young man (Jack 2’s alter ego)
  • Jack Jackson 2 - a young man (Jack 1’s alter ego)
  • Anna Jackson - Jack's wife
  • Howard - Jack’s friend
  • Dave - Jack’s friend
  • Trisha - Anna’s friend
  • Jenny - Anna’s friend

Support (1m, 3f, 4m/f)

  • Mr Lancaster – an angry hypochondriac (can be played by the actor playing Howard or Dave)
  • Dr Ellis - a GP (can be played by the actor playing Trisha or Jenny)
  • Dora - a GP’s receptionist (can be played by the actor playing Trisha or Jenny)
  • Alice - a hospital nurse (can be played by the actor playing Trisha or Jenny)
  • Dr Lambert - a consultant urologist (can be played by the actor playing Trisha, Jenny, Howard or Dave)
  • Dr Marsden - an oncologist (can be played by the actor playing Trisha, Jenny, Howard or Dave)
  • Other Doctors & Nurses (min of two, can be played by the actors playing Trisha, Jenny, Howard or Dave)

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