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Bear with me: Sun Bear @ParkTheatre

If The Light House is an uplifting tale of survival, Sarah Richardson’s Sun Bear gives a contrasting take on this. Sarah plays Katy. We’re introduced to Katy as she runs through a list of pet office peeves with her endlessly perky coworkers, particularly about coworkers stealing her pens. It’s a hilarious opening monologue that would have you wishing you had her as a coworker to help relieve you from the boredom of petty office politics.  But something is not quite right in the perfect petty office, where people work together well. And that is her. And despite her protesting that she is fine, the pet peeves and the outbursts are becoming more frequent. As the piece progresses, maybe the problem lies in a past relationship, where Katy had to be home by a particular hour, not stay out late with office colleagues and not be drunk enough not to answer his calls. Perhaps the perky office colleagues are trying to help, and perhaps Katy is trying to reach out for help. It has simple staging

Theatre: Blowing Whistles


I had not planned to see Blowing Whistles which finished this week, but an acquaintance had his date bail on him and I was called in as backup... While waiting for a very long time in the cold while the Leicester Square theatre got the place ready (the previous show didn't finish until the scheduled starting time for Blowing Whistles - 9.15pm), all was revealed. After innocently asking, "So who stood you up tonight?" I heard a great story about a date ambivalent about gay plays and the scene. I wondered whether part of the problem was that they had both seen In a Dark Dark House the night before and date was now seeking therapy... Who knows with the gays these days? Maybe the guy was too assimilated to see a gay play. Anyway he bailed and everyone else my acquaintance asked was busy... Except for me...

While we were waiting in the cold it was an opportune time for taking photos of the long line of mostly gay men waiting for the theatre to open... And to text mates who had seen the show to check which side was the best side to view the full-frontal nudity. Actually in the end it didn't matter as we practically second row centre and could see quite enough of everything... And besides I much prefered the acting talents of Paul Keating... Particularly when he was in pants...

All told the play by Matthew Todd is very witty and incisive, and very well acted. It looks set to have a life of its own now as gay Doll's House. And I couldn't help but see paraellels with an ex who seemed a lot like Stuart Lang's character... which gave (at least for me) the right amount of creepiness to feel my skin crawl throughout key scenes in the second act.

Finally there were the little touches that I particularly liked. It felt like it was set around the corner from where I lived given the references to Clapham North, the high street and The Sewers. And (ahem) having been in a place or two around that area, it made me wonder (purely based on the size of the window in the set) whether the characters lived on Landor Road... I can't recall being at the theatre where a play could speak to you so much... Now if only I could work out what it all meant... I might take coffee in Clapham tomorrow to think about it further...

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