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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: Blowing Whistles


I had not planned to see Blowing Whistles which finished this week, but an acquaintance had his date bail on him and I was called in as backup... While waiting for a very long time in the cold while the Leicester Square theatre got the place ready (the previous show didn't finish until the scheduled starting time for Blowing Whistles - 9.15pm), all was revealed. After innocently asking, "So who stood you up tonight?" I heard a great story about a date ambivalent about gay plays and the scene. I wondered whether part of the problem was that they had both seen In a Dark Dark House the night before and date was now seeking therapy... Who knows with the gays these days? Maybe the guy was too assimilated to see a gay play. Anyway he bailed and everyone else my acquaintance asked was busy... Except for me...

While we were waiting in the cold it was an opportune time for taking photos of the long line of mostly gay men waiting for the theatre to open... And to text mates who had seen the show to check which side was the best side to view the full-frontal nudity. Actually in the end it didn't matter as we practically second row centre and could see quite enough of everything... And besides I much prefered the acting talents of Paul Keating... Particularly when he was in pants...

All told the play by Matthew Todd is very witty and incisive, and very well acted. It looks set to have a life of its own now as gay Doll's House. And I couldn't help but see paraellels with an ex who seemed a lot like Stuart Lang's character... which gave (at least for me) the right amount of creepiness to feel my skin crawl throughout key scenes in the second act.

Finally there were the little touches that I particularly liked. It felt like it was set around the corner from where I lived given the references to Clapham North, the high street and The Sewers. And (ahem) having been in a place or two around that area, it made me wonder (purely based on the size of the window in the set) whether the characters lived on Landor Road... I can't recall being at the theatre where a play could speak to you so much... Now if only I could work out what it all meant... I might take coffee in Clapham tomorrow to think about it further...

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