Lucy and Jess have just finished their GCSEs and they are the best of friends. They love the beach, Chardonnay and boys, and they’re going to grow up and conquer the world.
But because real life rarely works like that, these two young people don’t grow up to conquer the world. They stay in their hometown of Scarborough, working jobs they aren’t in love with. Life ticks by. But they both have something much bigger than them casting a shadow over their lives.
It’s no secret that half of us will have cancer at some point in our lives, but a specific gene gives some women an 80% chance of developing breast cancer. Lucy has the BRCA1 gene, and it’s messing up her life. Fortunately Jess is by her side and the two of them can get through anything together.
Sarah Millton’s Lucy Light is a heartwarming coming-of-age story about friendship and hardship, effectively balancing sentimentality and gravitas. Though episodic in structure and covering a long time period, the script doesn’t feel sparse or underdeveloped. There is room for it to grow should Milton wish to lengthen it, but nothing is left out of the narrative.
Bebe Sanders and Georgia May Hughes are Lucy and Jess, a warm intimate pair that wholly convince as teenagers, late twenty-somethings, and every age in between. They mature gradually, maintaining strong characterisation whilst indicating their growing up with subtle and nuanced performances.
Milton makes a lovely, moving tribute to friendship in the face of adversity without laying on the sappiness or grief porn. Both of her characters have well-formed journeys and the story is a powerful reminder to look after those you love as well as your own health.
Lucy Light runs through 7 October.
The Play’s the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play’s the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon.