The List, a play by French-Canadian Jennifer Tremblay is one of the best pieces of theatre I’ve experienced for a long time. For good reason, this play ran for three weeks and received rave reviews at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Gemma Cavoli stars in Perth’s Fringe World Festival production of The List as the totally believable unnamed narrator. Switching from role to role, she attempts to come to terms with the death of her friend Caroline, who died shortly after the birth of her fifth baby.
There is an apparent randomness to the narrator’s thoughts, but in the end they make perfect sense. She moves seamlessly between characters.Perth playwright and director of The List, Suzanne Ingelbrecht says,
It’s an Epic Poem – in which more than a dozen characters make an appearance, including grandmas and grandpas, husbands and children.
The protagonist lives in an isolated Canadian country region. The mother of young children with a mostly absentee husband, she uses a list to which she adds trivia and important items to try to order her life, control her memories and to hold herself together. As an inveterate list-maker, I found this aspect of the work particularly endearing.
The Guild Studio in East Perth is an intimate performance space, which suits this play perfectly. The set was a simple and effective backdrop, enhanced by lighting which conveyed exactly the right mood at all times.
There are still some seats left for The List, which runs until Saturday 1 February 2015. See the Fringe World Festival Guide for details.
For more reviews of Perth performances, see Perth Theatre Reviews.