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Showing posts from November, 2019

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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

Space travel’s a drag: Escape From Planet Trash @ThePleasance

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The Pleasance Theatre is transformed into a dump with Sink The Pink’s Escape From Planet Trash. A high-concept, camp yet environmentally friendly take on the traditional pantomime. It’s environmentally friendly as jokes were either recycled or used sparingly. But it’s hard not to like a show that puts drag queens in space in search of trash. Set a few decades into the future, a queer space exploration team go in search of some discarded materials on Planet Trash that they believe will help their mission. At least I think that’s what was the point. The plot wasn’t always easy to follow due to poor sound quality. But while on Plant Trash they stumble upon Ginger Johnson and her son (Davina Cumming), the last remaining humans on the doomed planet. And the doomed world turns out to be the former planet Earth which is now floating about in an interplanetary graveyard. Meanwhile, there is some sort of evil force lurking around as it turns out the Christmas is coming. While

Talking pictures: Reputation @TheOtherPalace

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In the dog eat dog world of new musicals, a brand new one has arrived at the studio space of The Other Palace . It’s about the dog eat dog world of writers and plagiarism during the switch from silent pictures to talkies. A story about a small-time hoodlum who passes off scripts as his sounds like an excellent premise for a show. And some good parts make up the show. But probably not enough to take this show further in its current form. The good parts include the cast, which often high kicks and dances across the small stage. There’s Maddy Banks who plays Michelle. A young girl at a finishing school in France who spends her time in between learning how to be a proper lady writing her first screenplay. And Jeremy Secomb playing Freddy Larceny. A small-time crook, who passes off scripts as his own to Hollywood studios. And there’s Ed Wade as Archie the lawyer trying to trap Freddy in between making eyes for Michelle. Each of them have their moments throughout the piece. Alas, F

Keep it gay: Soho Cinders @CharingCrossThr

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An alternative to Christmas panto season has landed at Charing Cross Theatre in the form of Soho Cinders. A Cinderella goes gay story with music by Stiles and Drewe. But something's a little queer with this adaptation. Catchy songs, humour and a great (although not very diverse) cast don't overcome what feels like a dated, awkward story. In this story set against the backdrop of the London Mayoral election, our Soho Cinders, Robbie (Luke Bayer) is working at a laundromat with his pal Velcro (Millie O'Connell). Somehow he manages to hook up at the notorious hook-up point Trafalgar Square (who knew?) with Mayoral candidate and ex-swimmer James Prince (Lewis Asquith). But the problem is the candidate already has a fiancé (Tori Hargreaves). And she's nice. It's hard to get too enthused about a relationship forged in the shadows of Nelson's column while his other half is waiting at home with a bottle of wine. To give the show it's panto feel, there a