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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

Art: Gilbert and George and poop

As a tribute to the Tate Modern's excellent Gilbert and George exhibition I thought I would include some imagery of their less confrontational shitty art. An entire floor has been devoted to their work and it isn't hard to do this since as they progressed through the years, they really went for large scale stuff. Some of it is quite impressive, but the period where they were fascinated in bodily functions seems a little quaint these days.

Going through the exhibition, a highlight was watching one father point out to his two young sons the bright green and pink buttocks and testicles of the artists in a piece titled. the City Fairies. Judging by the looks of other punters in the gallery they seemed to think this was a bit inappropriate. I guess with parental guidance anything goes these days...

All told, it is nice to see that their latest works have moved away from bodily fluids and to the big issues of the day such as terrorism, intolerance and extremism. Besides, turds on a giant scale look like bread rolls... The exhibition runs through to May.

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