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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: Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages which is now playing in London, is a jukebox musical of classic rock hits from the eighties. It is full of so much energy and rocked the Shaftesbury Theatre on Wednesday night so hard, that you can't help but like it. This show has played Broadway and other parts of the world and now even has a film in the works. The reasons why it has been such a success might bewilder, but you will have a good time anyway

The cast of incredibly talented people manage to do a lot with the material. And by that I mean both the overly laboured plot and the skimpy costumes. The ladies in the chorus are a particular treat as they bump and grind their way through the proceedings. The men nearby seemed to be watching the show mostly with their mouths open.

In a way it is a shame there is such a hoary story as the music and the performances are almost good enough on their own to pass for an evening's entertainment. The regular references to the fact the story is crap coupled with an audience that has probably had a few beers before the show builds up enough goodwill in any case. At least the show serves as a reminder that the eighties did give us some great music. You will be rushing to the record store itunes store to download them.

It is also nice to see 2005 X-Factor winner Shayne Ward play a slightly washed up rocker with strange sexual practices. Holding it all together is Simon Lipkin who as the narrator works the audience into a frenzy with his mildly filthy antics. He also sports an impressive mullet and collection of great t-shirts that reference boobies and camel toes. Naturally he is the most likeable character.

Actually this show could have benefited from being so much more vulgar and crass rather than a series of musical cliches. There is a mild message about following your dreams, even if they make you marry some girl and have a baby. But this show works best it delivers music, sexy ladies, and high energy... And faux cigarette lighters and an awful lot of glitter...

Upon leaving the theatre, check your body for glitter jizz. There are so many glitter cannons exploding in the finale that you will downing in the stuff... If you're screaming and cheering be prepared to swallow it too... It has opened now at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London.

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