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Bear with me: Stitches @TheHopeTheatre

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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

Bloody previews: Grand Guignol

The Theatre Royal Plymouth's production of Carl Grose's Grand Guignol is to play in Plymouth and the Southwark Playhouse this October.


A Grand Guignol play (which takes the name from the theatre in Montmartre that produced them), are designed to give you thrills and chills.


Madness, murder and a healthy dose of gruesomeness prevail throughout. And no doubt it all looks delightful when offset against some white tiles or a red curtain.

The piece plays with these conventions and centres on the original Parisian theatre company and its members, combining black comedy and blood spattering and psychological thriller. One to watch out for... Perhaps literally...

Photo credit: 2009 Production by Manuel Harlan

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