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Review by Georgia Knight.
Lists for the End of the World was an interesting show performed at Live Theatre by actors Clare Dunn, Shireen Mula and Delme Thomas. The show has an unusual format, with dialogue consisting of a variety of lists; such as ‘Things I Pretend To Be Interested In’, ‘Times My 8 Year Old Self Would Be Proud Of Me’ and ‘Places I Would Hide A Body’. These lists were said in different tones of voice and accompanied by varied body language, both being effective in creating different moods. The actors also all took on realistic and captivating personas, which gave the piece a certain energy and added interest.
The play was relatable, ranged from dark humour to light humour and there were moments that were surprisingly emotionally hard-hitting. Some of the lists were repeated in monotone whilst actors sat on the floor and stared into space; others were sung, as actors posed amusingly about the stage and danced. One list of ‘Underrated Things’ was sound-tracked by an instrumental of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ as the actors mimicked the song so that their lists had a comparable tune and the same energetic movement seen in the band’s music video.
The audience actually made their own lists for ‘Favourite Childhood Toys’ before the show began, which was later turned into an American TV-show-styled game to see which toy got the most votes. This was a type of pressure-less audience participation that I respected and felt comfortable with; something not commonly associated with the term ‘audience participation’. I also thought that this was a nice personal touch to add to the performance.
Overall, the short performance was really interesting and unique. It took a while to get used to the format of the piece, but when I did I really got into it. I personally found some moments too repetitive but for the majority of the hour duration of Lists for the End of the World, the play was fresh and entertaining. Sadly, lists can only be taken so far (thus, the hour duration was appropriate) but the play is recommendable and the creators of it are clearly admirably imaginative. Enjoyable, inspiring and thought-provoking; I can recommend this play as worth seeing.