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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: State Fair

Sitting down in a darkened space as the sweat runs down your neck, then your back and into lower regions is probably not something you would expect from a night out at the theatre. But it is worth it to see this lively and energetic little production of State Fair playing at the Finborough Theatre in Earls Court. It will have you damp with delight...

State Fair is an odd sort of musical about a pig, a nightclub singer, a boy, a girl, a nightclub singer and the Iowa State Fair. There is an awful lot of mince meat too. It includes cut numbers from other Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals and a book with some of the corniest jokes immaginable. But it all hangs together somehow. It helps too when you also have such a filthy minded audience (or maybe just a Londonist reviewer). People were laughing hysterically after lines such as "I'm going for a pearl necklace in the back row" and "There's a girl who knows her way around a cucumber"...

The cast are all great but I particularly liked Laura Main, who gets to sing "It might as well be Spring", the song which managed to win Rodgers and Hammerstein an Oscar. Here's hoping she has an album in the works. Even in their piano accompaniment, there is much to appreciate about the other songs in the book too... Although you might leave the theatre with that darned little ditty "Our state fair is a great state fair" in your head...

For a musical big on melodrama it's shrunk well into a small space, with an even smaller budget. Although if the show sells out (which it might start doing given its great reviews) it might be a tad frightening sitting in the front row with all those kicks in the dance numbers.

The only thing I would advise is that you should bring your own booze as are having licensing issues at the moment... Hand wash gel is a good idea too... The bathroom was pretty grim and there is no running water... That's something to think about as you hold the handrail climbing the stairs to the theatre... It runs until the end of August. Don't miss it... But skip the beer nuts at the bar...


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