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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

Theatre: Silence The Musical

The Silence of the Lambs is a movie that calls out for a parody... At least to take the edge of some of its more intense moments. Therefore it was with much anticipation that I ventured to Above the Stag theatre in Victoria to see Silence! the musical. For anyone who has seen the Silence of the Lambs more times than they care to remember, this is a great little musical that doesn't disappoint, which even bases its main theme on what the composers call a "pleasant major mode variation" on Howard Shore's Silence of the Lambs theme. This production in the intimate (or cramped) Above the Stag theatre is full of fine detail from the movie, such as Jodie Foster's inexplicable accent, her lesbian relationship with her roommate, and her cheap shoes...

The music includes such little gems as I can smell your .... complete with slightly suggestive ballet and a tango Quid Pro Quo. Throughout the show a chorus of lambs can be found running on and off stage... The cast were particularly good and managed to keep the laughs coming for the most part.

Probably the only slightly unnerving thing about this show is the venue itself. Given its location, the Stag seems to be a pub that is mostly populated by creepy gay civil servants who would not look out of place in Buffalo Bill's home... And you do have to make your way past them to get to the upstairs space. The entire place also smells like a toilet. However, if you just pretend the grimness it is all part of the atmosphere for the show you'll be fine... It runs all this month and is worth catching...

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