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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

Flashers, savages and gluttony: You're Human Like the Rest of Them @finborough

It's a bizarre, odd sort of world. Nothing makes sense. Gluttony, communism, flashers in cemeteries. It's all laid bare in You're Human Like The Rest of Them. Three short works by B.S. Johnson playing at the Finborough Theatre. The three pieces include two world stage premieres of pieces originally broadcast on television and radio and the first production in over forty years.

B.S Johnson was a radical and an experimentalist.  He wrote plays, poems and novels. A collection of his films are also available. His pieces are about the big themes of life, death, religion. Nothing is quite like it seems. In 1973 a month after completing a short filmed piece called Fat Man on a Beach (well he probably was a little overweight but that title seemed an exaggeration), he committed suicide.  Since then his work has developed a bit of a cult following. Given the theatricality and originality of his works it is surprising that there has never been a staged performance of them. Until now.

Not Counting the Savages has wife (Sarah Berger) coming home distressed after being at the cemetery and seeing a flasher. But her husband (Brian Deacon) seems more interested in a visit to the Soviet Union. And her son (Bertie Taylor-Smith) is more interested in getting hold of an inheritance to fund a porno he wants to shoot. Given the proximity to Brompton Cemetery it felt as if it could have been a scene in any neighbouring flat.

Down Red Lane is a debate between diner (Reginald Edwards) and his belly (Alex Griffin-Griffiths). It's a standoff between gluttony and the bodies major organs delivered with style and panache.

The final scene, You're Human Like The Rest of Them a teacher (again Taylor-Smith) learns that the spine is pretty useless and that death is inevitable. But despite realising that we're all just decaying he keeps calm and carries on.

It's all a bit bonkers, rude and confronting.  But the series of intense scenes and lively performances hits the mark for laughs.

Directed by Carla Kingham, You're Human Like The Rest of Them runs Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays at the Finborough Theatre until 21 March.


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