Writer: Jennifer Tremblay
Translator: Shelley Tepperman
Director: Muriel Romanes
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
The Public Reviews Rating:
Alone in her kitchen, a woman begins to recount her story. She speaks of her solitude and isolation having moved from the city to the country, and of the great importance of her one real friend, Caroline. The woman likes making lists, in fact she lives by them, but we find her wracked with guilt after an item on her list was neglected which she feels lead to disaster.
Set in Québec, The List could be happening anywhere as the themes and experiences of its narrator are universal. Translated from Jennifer Tremblay’s original play the text of this Scots version is full of muscularity, musicality and meaning, and Maureen Beattie is mesmerising in the starring role. The story is told out of order, moments remembered then pushed out by new memories and experiences and regrets that spring to her mind. The set is very simple yet there is a scale model of a house to the side of the stage which is intricate and used to great effect.
It’s hard to put your finger on why this piece is so very good. Perhaps it is because the audience are addressed in such a conversational and frank way that you feel part of the story, you are entirely drawn in. Perhaps because Beattie’s performance is an absolute tour de force – she effortlessly builds a strong rapport with the audience and then holds you in the palm of her hand, making you feel every emotion along with her. Perhaps it is because the writer has tapped in to that feeling of loneliness that we can all relate to. Whatever the reason, this stellar piece of theatre is outstanding and entirely captivating, and should be right at the top of everybody’s list.
Until 25th AugustEdinburgh Fringe: The List – Summerhall ,