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Bear with me: Stitches @TheHopeTheatre

What if your teddy bear could talk? My ten-year-old self would think that to be excellent. My more recent self would think it was a high-concept buddy movie with Mark Wahlberg. But in Stictches, Jonathan Blakeley's monologue, which he has written and performed, traces the life of his beloved Chloe, from when she was first given to him by her grandmother, wrapped with a red ribbon. It becomes a story not just about a cute bear (or maybe that should be rough, shaggy-looking bear given the performer’s appearance) observing life but an exploration of life and all of its stages. It's currently playing at the Hope Theatre .  The bear is not warm and fuzzy; he is a bit of a character and tough-talking, but also a bit anxious about being accepted and then discarded as nothing. But he is there to bear witness as she navigates the complicated facets of growing up and having a life. Ultimately, the bear has to deal with being consigned to a box with her other memories until circumstances
  • Latest findings suggests that property websites are helping widen the gap between the haves and have nots. Personally I am fascinated to know that in my postcode there are 14 people claiming benefits and only 1.04% of the UK population live in a dwelling type such as the type that I'm in...
  • Summer means everyone goes to their second property in France (if you have one). If you don't you can head to the seaside, head overseas or just stay in London and work. I am doing the last of these things.
  • In my spare time I have taken to upgrading my gym wardrobe by stocking up on Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirts. At my gym it is de-rigeur. But its worth knowing that at my gym there are muscle marys who kiss over the fly machine, bears who pull each others chest hair over the free weights and personal trainers who counsel men who break down in tears over the shoulder press. Even by London standards it isn't a normal gym...

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