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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

A whole lot of soul: Cynthia Erivo in concert

Last Monday night was an opportunity for Cythia Erivo to strut her stuff in her first solo concert. Whether it is a quiet softly sung ballad or belting out a showstopper there does not seem to be anything she cannot do.

She has been a rising star in the West End with stand out performances in The Color Purple, Dessa Rose and Sister Act, but here she was able to showcase a range of musical styles, and her phenomenal vocal range.
The choice of music was an inspired choice of soul classics, musical theatre and intricate original songs written by Erivo.

The original songs were particularly stunning and personal, filled with emotions and reflection. Her song Fly Before You Fall is part of the film Beyond the Lights (which has yet to have a UK release date).

But she also let things rip with an electrifying rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way” that had the audience screaming with delight and on its feet for the first standing ovation.

By the time she concluded the evening with “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” the audience were ecstatic, as evident in the clip made available through the West End Video Youtube channel. The release of the video has caused endless chatter given that there may be a West End production of Dreamgirls in the not too distant future...

Kings Place is a particularly classy venue with its comfortable seating and wood panelling (it must be terrific for chamber orchestra concerts). But adding to the sophistication was the five piece band under the musical direction of Tom Deering and their exceptional musical arrangements.

A fine evening of music making and I can’t wait for the album to come out… First impressions with @johnnyfoxlondon follow...

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