Butterflies is an autobiographical story of going through cancer and finding a voice


You can watch Butterflies here.

In this piece, we’re led by Lorna Nickson Brown through her experiences of thyroid cancer and it feels like a very well done radio play. We move from scene to scene in different soundscapes which subtly but successfully give a great sense of place. All the voice acting is brilliant, and you can easily buy into everyone in the story. Even just the little exchanges between Brown and the people she talks to are really sweet and funny. Brown, in particular, is fantastic at reliving these emotions in dramatic form. One stand-out part of the piece is when she’s questioning why she got this cancer, becoming increasingly erratic as the sound of the storm ratchets up around her and eventually envelopes her. Stella Roberts’ sound design and the performances are constantly working together in this piece and produce fantastic results.

Brown manages to translate her experiences into something empowering. She talks about how this painful experience allowed her to find her voice in a way that could be transferred to any painful and life-changing event. At the same time, the piece never feels like ‘inspiration porn’ which exploits cancer sufferers as motivation for people without cancer. It feels like her consistent ownership of the narrative allows her to walk that tightrope and make it work. This isn’t just a story about her cancer, it’s about her as a person and you really get invested in that journey.

Butterflies is a powerful story of finding yourself in difficult circumstances.

Read our interview with creator Lorna Nickson Brown here.

New Creatives is a talent development scheme supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts, delivered in the Midlands by Rural Media. Check out our New Creatives coverage in the New Creatives Voicebox.


Oluwatayo Adewole

Oluwatayo Adewole Contributor

Hey there! I'm a wordy-type who's into all kinds of stuff, but especially: film, comics, theatre and trying to make the world a better place

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