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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

Try to say no to this: In The Heights @Intheheightsldn

It's been over a year since In The Heights stormed London. It is back at the Kings Cross Theatre sounding even better than before.

This is a thrilling show directed by Luke Sheppard. It's full of terrific performances, spectacular choreography by Drew McOnie and a pulsating latin, pop and hip-hop-fused musical score by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
With a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes, it is a slice of life from Washington Heights New York during one hot summer. The neighbourhood is changing with rents going up and people moving out. Yet there is hope and someone in the neighbourhood has won the lottery.

The cast includes Sam Mackay in the lead as Usnavi, David Bedella, Josie Benson, a wonderfully hilarious (and fabulously pregnant) Victoria Hamilton-Barritt and former Sugababe Jade Ewen. Broadway star Joe Aaron Reid has also joined the cast as Benny.

It's interesting that in this show yet again finds itself playing in a neighbourhood of significant change (Kings Cross). And as for Washington Heights, in the years since it was written the future of corner stores that feature in the show are even bleaker.

But despite the reality there is so much fun to be had in this piece. It will have you grooving along in your seat or wanting to get up and dance with the cast.

Miranda, who is taking the musical theatre world by storm again with his period musical Hamilton talks about In The Heights in this recent New York Times podcast. He describes how hip hop, musical theatre and the muppets were among the sounds he grew up with... Something we can all relate to...

In The Heights is sharing the Kings Cross Theatre with the Railway Children and so there are some nice touches with the railway station entrance covered in graffiti and New York Subway signs (which no doubt will be removed so they don't confuse the children too much). It is running through to January. Worth catching more than once.



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