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Bear with me: Stitches @TheHopeTheatre

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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

TV: Rome

Last night the first episode of the new series on Rome aired so I was among the 6.6million people who tuned in to watch it. After a few minutes of viewing I couldn't help but think that for a show about Rome there were an awful lot of maps of Tasmania on display. Getting past the beaver and buttock shots (which were interspersed amongst gore galore – which in retrospect was an inappropriate time to be eating lasagne) there was some sort of story, which potentially could be quite interesting over the next ten weeks, but I think the story isn't the drawcard here. Get the punters in by having freshly sacrificed bovine blood rubbed over Atia's tits is the drawcard. As fascinating as all that is it just isn't as fun as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum…

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