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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

Good farce: Good People

There is still time to catch David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People, which runs for another two weeks at the Noël Coward Theatre.

Margie, played by Imelda Staunton, is a sharp-tongued single-mother who has been fired from her job as a cashier for showing up at work late. Hearing that an old boyfriend who has made good is in town, she decides to corner him. But her plan brings unexpected consequences for her and the unsuspecting Mike (Lloyd Owen). Both must look to the past to re-examine the choices and secrets that brought them back together.

What could be a nasty, mean-spirited piece is made palatable by Imelda Staunton's performance. Her portrayal makes the desperation of her character realistic and human. And while the piece is predictable, the humour and warmth of the play make it a treat.

Lloyd Owen as the old flame proves to be more than a match for Staunton's strong performance as well and it is a delight to watch the two spar in the second half confrontation.

Good People originally premiered on Broadway in 2011 winning the New York Drama Desk Critic’s Circle Award for Best Play of the year. It runs until 14 June. Look for discounts at the usual outlets as well.


Photo credits: Production photos by Manuel Harlan

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