Featured Post

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

Boots and all: Man to Man @ParkTheatre

Man to Man, which concluded its run at the Park Theatre Sunday allowed for Tricia Kelly to inhabit a character that is filled with desperation for survival.

The hardship comes after a series of calamitous events. The first after losing her husband (and source of income) to cancer, then to survive war time Germany and again in the post-war socialist order of East Germany.

Kelly moves about the stage, drinking, screaming, throwing dirt and all the time evoking the tumultuous period with a wry sense of ingenuity and a little bit of humour. It must be a hell of a part to play and to watch her perform is fascinating and evocative.
The work explores what it is like to survive in harsh circumstances. What is fascinating is how the challenges for each period, while unique, are also pretty grim. And against the historical backdrop emerges a resourceful character and a story of survival.

This piece has been rarely performed in the UK with its last performance in 1988 giving Tilda Swinton her big break. This time around the version also includes a new section that updates the story in the light of the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification.

It ends with her with a boot on one foot and a woman shoe on the other. A fitting visual image for a work about a person with a foot in both camps.

Perhaps it will again be seen soon (or elsewhere). Presented by Danielle Tarento following a sell-out run at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester. Directed by Tilly Branson.


Popular posts from this blog

Opera and full frontal nudity: Rigoletto

Fantasies: Afterglow @Swkplay

Play ball: Damn Yankees @LandorTheatre