By Julie Devaney, healthcare advocate and writer
When Robin Duke was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 her first instinct was to hide. Robin had written, performed and produced on stage and screen but she was determined that cancer was going to be a private performance. Now she’s ready to go public.
In I’ve Been Hacked: The Robin Duke Cancer Story, we see the necessary intrusions of medical professionals and the voyeuristic ones of near-strangers at parties. We hear the rumours swirling around the acting world and share her feelings of exposure. But unlike on the stage where Robin’s show girl self could shine on her own terms, cancer had its own stage directions. With stories, songs and characters, we watch Robin through her fears, her changing body image and her unexpected fashion choices.
But with all of these questions, Robin sees that there are no clear answers. The idea of being inspired, makes her really tired and in the end she finds something better than answers. In collaboration with director and theatre artist Martha Burns and myself, Robin Duke’s one-woman show shines a light on her cancer adventure on her own terms.
Robin Duke is best known for her work in television writing and performing on SCTV and Saturday Night Live.
Robin appeared in films such as Groundhog Day and Hostage for a Day, and received an Emmy nomination for writing on SNL and a Gemini nomination for North of 60. She has received an Earle Grey Award and a Star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. In 2013, Robin won the David Broadfoot “Comic Genius” award at the Canadian Comedy Award Festival. She writes, performs and produced the successful Women Fully Clothed, a sketch comedy troupe.
Robin is currently receiving critical acclaim for her performance in FXX’s Man Seeking Woman as Patti.