Lists for the End of the World

An hour of lists that reveal the unity of modern society

theatre review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Lists for the End of the World
Published 06 Aug 2017

"Things I want to do before I die." It is the first of many lists in this show; it is also the last. Taken verbatim from over 300 people, each one engages with its audience – we exclaim and agree, we cringe and sigh, we cry and reminisce. Because we are weird and wonderful; we think we’re alone in a world where there is always someone else.

For an hour, three performers recite lists. That’s it. And yet an hour is too short. The lists feel too short. Every subject is one that we want to discuss, share and debate over. They are beautifully specific: “What would you do if you knew no one else would find out?”; “The different ways to hide a dead body.”

The simplicity of the concept is countered with the subtle techniques that bring each moment to life. The blocking; the use of music; the interaction with the audience; all complement the core material. Some items are read concurrently, which makes for hilariously shocking combinations. Guilty laughter bubbles through the crowd whenever we embarrassingly confess.

Some lists are written down, some are folded into paper aeroplanes and launched – the act of writing creates a new memory. These are the lists that we may never make, too paranoid of being judged. But when they are announced to the world, all we want is to hear more. The performers speak plainly, but they speak a glorious truth.