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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

Chance encounters girlfriends take: Blind Date

It is unusual to be raving about a show that nobody else will see, but Blind Date which is having a limited seven week run at the Charing Cross theatre, is an improvised show that is original and funny where no show will be quite the same, but where each show no doubt shows the magic, sweetness and humanity that arises from chance encounters.

Keeping it all together is Rebecca Northan as the optimistic Mimi, who finds herself stood up on her blind date. Rather than let that get her down, she turns to the audience to help her out. She wears a clown nose, speaks with a French accent and has a great set of legs. What then happens for the next ninety minutes is a masterclass in improvisation and working with the audience.

Northan, who hails from Canada, and her show has won several awards. She is the recipient of two 2012 Canadian Comedy Awards for "Best Female Improviser" and "Best Comedic Play" for Blind Date, a winner of the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Award for Improvisation, and a 2010 Betty Mitchell Award (Calgary) for "Best Female in a Musical or Comedy."

Charing Cross Theatre, is transformed into a lively little cabaret scene with red curtains and sexy music. Before the show begins, Northan is talking to members of the audience along with her fellow cast members. For reasons that will become clear later, this plays an important part in the show. Her supporting cast also work to keep the show finely balanced as scenes move and you never quite can tell whether what things are happening are real or not.

Her date the night I dropped in was a young man called "Barty" who already drew attention to himself before the show as he was dressed in gym gear. It transpires that he rode his bike to the theatre but was there with his girlfriend. He became the surprising hero of the show despite interjections from other men in the audience.

Whether it is comedy, stand up, a social experiment or a combination of all, it is a fascinating, sweet and funny night at the theatre. If you have a boyfriend, you should take him along to the show, but save the surprise...

After the show it was left to @Johnnyfoxlondon and I to decipher what we have seen in an Audioboo. At the time I think we were not so sure... But I think both of us want to go back and see it again...
listen to ‘Blind Date Boo’ on Audioboo

If you want to delve more into the background of the show and the origin of her clown character Mimi, there is an interview with her on Canadian radio below. 

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