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Death becomes her: A Brief List Of Everyone Who Died @finborough

For a natural process, death is not a topic that comes up naturally for people. We ask how people are doing but expect the response to be “I’m great”, not “I’m not dead yet”. And so for the main character in A Brief List of Everyone Who Died, Graciela has a death issue. Starting with when she was five and found out only after the matter that her parents had her beloved dog euthanised. So Graciela decides that nobody she loves will die from then on. And so this piece becomes a fruitless attempt at how she spends her life trying to avoid death while it is all around her. It’s currently having its world premiere  at the Finborough Theatre . As the play title suggests, it is a brief list of life moments where death and life intervene for the main character, from the passing of relatives, cancer, suicides, accidents and the loss of parents. Playwright Jacob Marx Rice plots the critical moments of the lives of these characters through their passing or the passing of those around them. Howeve

Theatre: Little Shop of Horrors

Paul Keating plays Seymour... Hello! Suddenly Seymour he purified everyone...

Tonight I caught Little Shop of Horrors at the Menier Chocolate Factory near London Bridge. Again it is another fantastic production that doesn't put a foot wrong. I have never seen a stage production of this show but this musical has been a long-time favourite of mine... There's a talking plant, a sadomasochistic dentist, a sweet girl and a nerdy boy. Throw in the late Howard Ashman's witty book and lyrics and Alan Menken's music and you have a very entertaining show. I knew almost every lyric in this show and found myself still laughing at the jokes... They still seem fresh and funny even though the show is approaching 25 years of age...

My excitement over Little Shop of Horrors surprised Mk who I went with. He likes the show too and normally we have rather different tastes in musical theatre. For instance he has seen Mamma Mia ten times and I just can't bring myself to seeing it yet... He also liked Cabaret which we kept arguing about all over dinner beforehand... It was somewhat of a relief that we could both agree that we enjoyed this production.

The show kept faithful to the original production (ignoring the changes made for the 1986 movie) and it was so well put together. It helped with a terrific cast which included Sheridan Smith as Audrey and Paul Keating (pictured above in an earlier role) as the nerdy Seymour. I mentioned to Mk that I did think PK was a bit of a looker and he thought I was daft. I think he couldn't get past the brown hair dye that had been inflicted on PK. Granted brown hair dye isn't a good look on anybody who is pasty white) but I was looking past that... Judging by photos on the internet of his previous acting jobs this was probably a sensible choice...

And as for Audrey II, that mean green mother came to life as a talking pitcher plant. Also of merit were the girl chorus who helped give the show its humour and lift. It was great stuff and although it has only just opened surely looks destined to transfer to the West End at some point next year... Particularly if the reaction of tonight's audience is any gauge of things...

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