I am a prolific list writer. Writing this review means another satisfying tick on my never-ending to do list. I write lists for everything, but could reading them out to a room full of people ever be entertaining? Well, probably not for my lists, but take lists crowdsourced from 300 people and perform them in an innovative way, and you have the very enjoyable Lists for the End of the World.
It is, in essence, just three people reading out lists that other people have made. But in the same way that Gogglebox is ‘just’ people watching TV it’s utterly fascinating. Partly because you realise that other people think the same way as you; that was pretty much my list of standard excuses they read out! But also, because some people have such different views to you.
While the content of these lists is everything from funny to emotional, it is the way Lists for the End of the World is performed that makes it so special. The performers employ a number of different tactics to keep it fresh and moving along at pace. Some lists are read to song, while others are simply written on a flipchart.
It’s sort of Dave Gorman-esque in the way that things so ordinary can become so compelling. The people who have filled out these lists have been incredibly honest; their hopes and fears are laid bare behind the anonymity of the performance. It feels a little like intruding to these people’s lives but you can’t quite pull yourself away from it, and it forces you to reflect on what would have been on your lists.
It’s such a simple idea, but works so well, the performance aspect of Lists for the End of the World has been structured to have the maximum effect and the performers really do bring it all to life in a very entertaining fashion.
So, here’s a bonus list for you:
- Go to Edinburgh Fringe.
- Find your way to Summerhall.
- Get Tickets for Lists for the End of the World.
- Laugh, reflect and enjoy.