Madame Ovary

Pleasance Dome (Jack Dome), Potterow, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, Scotland, United Kingdom

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 - 12:00 to Monday, August 26, 2019 - 13:00

It’s January and Rosa Hesmondhalgh is writing her resolutions. This will be her year. She will stop going out with plonkers, start doing yoga and write some ‘Really Good Art’. But before she’s had a chance to delete her dating apps and get into downward dog, she’s diagnosed with ovarian cancer. And its spread. Now faced with hospitals, chemotherapy and her own mortality, Rosa's new goal for the year ahead is to survive it.


Madame Ovary explores the usual struggle a 20-something has with trying to stay relevant alongside the less typical struggle of trying to stay alive.  This is the true story of Rosa’s journey from her first symptoms to her diagnosis, her first hospital admission, her brush with death, treatment, losing a friend to cancer and finally getting the all clear.  This hopeful production celebrates the support and love that helped Rosa to support and love herself during treatment.


Through this brave and inescapably funny telling of her story, Rosa hopes that more women will be able to recognise their symptoms early, rather than keeping them a secret for fear of embarrassment – symptoms can include bloating, weight gain and pain going to the toilet.  Speaking to the audience as honestly as possible, Madame Ovary seeks to raise awareness of ovarian cancer in young women today.


Writer and performer Rosa comments, If someone had told me two years ago that this was a topic for a show, I’d have said ‘but a 23 year old getting ovarian cancer is unheard of!’  When I became that 23 year old, I soon realised that being unheard of actually meant that although it was happening no one was talking openly enough about it.  I started a blog from my sick bed to tell my story and raise awareness about ovarian cancer in young women.  The next step for me is telling the story on stage: the things that made me cry, the people I met, the things that are actually pretty funny and all the things about cancer I didn’t know.

United Kingdom
Pleasance Dome (Jack Dome), Potterow, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, EH8 9AL
Part of: 
02 August 2019 to 26 August 2019

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019