A story about Stephanie, the call centre worker. Stephanie’s job is her life. Her friends are work friends. She has a crush on the office cleaner.
Now, people at work are starting to get sick. A lot of people, very quickly. And no one knows why.
Nominated for a Green Room Award, 2014
Created and performed by
PLAYING PERTH FRINGE WORLD 2017
Adelaide Theatre Guide 2016
“'not a very good story' is unassuming, unpretentious, sweet, funny, and very moving. It is, in short, a very good story. ” (five stars)
Great Scott! 2016
“Sweet, funny and caring”
The Age 2013
“A terrific show, poignant and sharply funny” (four stars)
“Incredibly engaging. Jasper’s creation and delivery of the character of Stephanie is endearing and powerfully gentle.”
Sometimes Melbourne 2013
“Not a very good story IS a very good story with a very good title for an exceptionally good show.”
“A joy to watch…real, authentic and vulnerable”
Compelling in its simplicity, funny in its attention to detail, and terrifyingly close to reality, not a very good story is inspired by the real-life cancer cluster at the ABC studios in Brisbane, Australia in 2006. Written and performed by published playwright and Moth storytelling slam winner May Jasper, the show was nominated for a Victorian Green Room Award in 2013 and will have its Adelaide Fringe premiere in 2016.
It's a story about Stephanie, who is sweet, awkward and very ordinary. She works in a call centre. She loves mystery novels and Disney films. She doesn’t like fish.
Stephanie is in love. With one of the office cleaners, at work. The cleaner’s name is Jen. When Stephanie sees her she smiles very wide.
Stephanie’s work is her whole world. But now, people at work are starting to get sick. It’s a lot of people, very quickly. And no one knows why.
In real life, the ABC was forced to move out of its Toowong studios when 17 female staff members contracted breast cancer. Says Jasper:
“This is not a very good story, I guess. Cos, we never found out what it was. So there’s no answer.
But I saved her. I saved her, I think.
This is not a very good story. It doesn’t really have an ending.”
A Million To One
An Australian Story Special
ABC staff to reunite five years after cancer cluster finding
Article about Toowong that describes how most cancer clusters happen by chance.
Luxury riverfront apartments for former ABC studios at Toowong, abandoned after cancer cluster fears
Article about the luxury apartments they're planning to put up on the site
ABC Women’s Health Study
A summary from the Cancer Council of study undertaken at Toowong. I bit science-y but interesting.
“I watched a documentary about Toowong, and what really stood out was the way that a cancer cluster made the ordinary terrifying. Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women, it’s horrible but it’s ordinary. And an office is a boringly ordinary place to work. But if every woman in your office got cancer, one by one, while you watched... that’s a slasher flick. That’s a ghost story without the ghost.”
- May Jasper