The day 47-year-old Shoreham Beach mum Lesley Graney found out her breast cancer had become secondary cancer, she ran into the sea for a swim with her family.
It was her way, she says, of coping with the devastating reality of facing life with an incurable but treatable disease.
With her husband John Rice, they filmed it and shared it with friends in a WhatsApp group they called Random Acts of Nonsense – the starting point for a show they are now bringing to the Brighton Fringe.
They continued recording funny moments of silliness, which they’ve now turned into the show. The interactive piece is about ‘creating moments where you can be like kids and doing daft things so kids have joy in their life’. They will perform it with their two children, aged ten and seven.
Taking place on May 4 and 5 at the Macmillan Horizon Centre (2 Bristol Gate, Brighton), the proceeds from the family show will be donated to the centre, which is supporting the couple from Shoreham with counselling and mindfulness training.
Lesley said: “It’s so complicated what I was going through; to have my dreams taken away is beyond devastating. I felt deeply depressed at one point. But the Horizon Centre has been brilliant, and the counselling has given us a safe space to process what we’re going through. I also had acupuncture to help with the side effects of my treatment and got useful financial advice. Macmillan is amazing.”
The show will be at 2pm on May 4 and at 11 and 2pm on May 5.
“It’s not always about trying to solve a problem, it’s just helping to make it more bearable.
“The show we have now created is a fun, interactive family show that invites the audience to join in and enjoy some Random Acts of Nonsense including puppet arms, straight face challenge, and random bingo!
“It is being performed at the Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton and is free – we are simply asking for voluntary donations for Macmillan on the day, as they have been so important to us with their support during this time.