Seeing The List, try not to be annoyed at being forced to enter the auditorium in an odd and embarrassing way. Watch single character taking her shoes on and off, miming wall washing, climbing on and off the window seat and speaking in a monotone. Stay awake despite being utterly bored by the one-note production and the weakness of the script.
The year 2008 must have been an arid year for French drama for The List to win a Governor General’s Award. Admittedly, portraying boredom on stage is a risky business. It can all too easily become boring to watch. Certainly, this portrayal of a bored and self-absorbed woman recounting her banal existence qualifies on that account. But surely it does not have to be so completely uninteresting and sleep inducing from beginning to end?
Both Brian Quirt’s repetitive direction and Tracey Ferencz’s one-note performance add to the boredom quotient. While Brian Smith’s set and Jock Munro’s lighting occupy the audience’s attention for a while, it is impossible to be totally absorbed by the unchanging view for the full 75 minutes. (Was it really only 75 minutes? It seemed so much longer.)
Take this one off your list, unless you need an immediate cure for insomnia.
Reviewed by Iris Winston.
The List (La Liste)
by Jennifer Tremblay
Translated by Shelley Tepperman, commissioned by the GCTC
Winner of the Governor General’s prize for French Theatre 2008
A Production of the Great Canadian Theatre Company
Directed by Brian Quirt
Set and Costumes: Brian Smith
Lighting: Jock Munro
Starring Tracey Ferencz
Plays at the IrvinvgGreenberg Theatre Centre from September 14 to October 3, 2010)