Every beautiful thing is about creating a list of the good things in life; it has previously been a concept for exhibitions, installations and a Facebook group. In 2013 it was shown as a play at the Ludlow festival. subsequently it has toured globally and was shown on HBO December 2016. The script, can also be bought on Amazon.
I saw it Wednesday 17th May at the Crucible’s studio in Sheffield. I did not know in advance, but at the same time the play was also being shown in Paris.
The studio theatre has flexible set up, but for this show the seating was in the round which suited the high energy, interactive show brilliantly. There was one actor, ; Jonny Donahue who either plays an unnamed character or I can not remember their name. The play starts telling the story of his Mum’s two suicide attempts during his childhood, which is when he started the list if brilliant things for her. The audience are called upon to play some roles like vet, his Dad, his girlfriend. Some of the audience are also given cards to read out, items from the list and also the audience are asked to provide props such as books for a library scene. in Sheffield, one member of the audience nonchalantly provide Jane Austen’s Emma which got a laugh so I would advise when seeing show to either bring something very high brow like War and Peace or go the other way and offer a children’s book. It is a fantastic atmosphere because of the audience interaction. Don’t worry if you are not a natural performer because Jonny had a knack of picking excellent performers. Maybe they were just so good because it was Sheffield? But the vet was excellent, girlfriend excellent proposal, his former teacher and sock puppet ‘don’t know’ made a fabulous comedy double act. The Dad when called upon to give a wedding speech, aptly began lines that could apply to his unexpected performance and a wedding ‘ You don’t expect these situations but in these situations…’. The members of the audience may not do such a good job outside of Sheffield, but I’m sure each performance would e unique and worth watching – I would watch again!