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Showing posts from May, 2020

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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

Nights and boos with @johnnyfoxlondon

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  Londonist head theatre critic JohnnyFox recently passed away after a short illness. Over the years we went to the theatre together. For me I was covering it for my own blog. For John it was covering it for countless online magazines and eventually Londonist. We rarely took notes. There was one point when John tried to do that. But when he went to the bathroom, I wrote in his note pad, biscuits, milk, a tin of meat for the cat. Instead, we would talk about the show on the way home. If we liked the show enough, we would record the banter on the Audioboo platform (as it was then called). While we assumed only my mother was listening, it was an opportunity  to explain why we liked something, without too many pauses or ums and errs. We also travelled to Winchester and Poole to speak to young people starting out as journalists about how to make a living doing it. The point we made was that theatre journalism never made money but you should do it because you like to do it around your