There's a scene in A Pacifist's Guide to the War on Cancer, a quiet scene, a total contrast to the rock number about vulnerability which we've just witnessed.
Bryony Kimmings and Lara Veitch are perched atop scaffolding, reminiscing about a moment in their lives where everything changed.
It was about 2013, they'd joined forces to work on A Pacifist's Guide, now playing at the Canberra Theatre. Kimmings the bright young writer with the idea of a musical about cancer, Veitch the cancer patient who she endlessly questioned.
In this scene they both have news to share. Veitch says the doctors have found a "shadow" on a scan; Kimmings announces she's pregnant.
"Things got weird after that point," Kimmings said.
Something was growing inside each of them.
"That seems so long ago now," says Veitch.
"A lot's happened since then."
Indeed it has. And most of it has nothing to do with the performance.
Kimmings baby, a son, Frank, was diagnosed with a rare disease what wiped his first six months of development. Veitch has beaten another cancer diagnosis and is in recovery. That's six forms of cancer she's survived.
And then there's the show. Originally a musical it's since been reworked as a play with songs. When I spoke to Kimmings in February the pared down version was about to hit the stage for the first time.
She says it's been a great success and it's how she should have written it the first time round.
"But I couldn't have written it the first time," she says, "Lara was still in hospital, my son was still super ill, the timing wasn't right.
"But it is now and I feel it's all fallen into place."
A strange friendship between the two women has formed over the past five or so years. They finish each other's sentences, yet never talk over each other, a gentle respect and admiration is evident between them.
"For a while we were business associates," says Kimmings, "We were friends because of the project and then shit got really real and now we're very close friends.
"It's very rare you go through something simultaneously with people. I think cancer friendships can be like that, like you're going through this huge tornado and in that moment …
"... you need each other," Veitch says.
Canberra Theatre Centre presents Complicite in collaboration with the National Theatre, A Pacifist's Guide to the War on Cancer, until March 3.
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