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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

No country for old men: The Ice Cream Boys @JSTheatre

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America has Trump, Britain has Boris, and South Africa had Jacob Zuma. Old men fade from power and eventually die, and no skeleton is left in the closet in the Ice Cream Boys by Gail Louw. For ninety minutes, they bitch and moan about the state of their country and the path their lives have taken. It just so happens that one of the men is Jacob Zuma, former President of South Africa. The other is Ronnie Kasrils, former Minister for Intelligence Services and critic of Zuma. It sets out in a breathtaking edge-of-your-seat way, both a historical and personal account of the struggles of the country. Full of passion and fire, it's currently playing at the Jermyn Street Theatre . The two men meet by chance in a hospital. Kasrils (Jack Klaff) is there to have a melanoma removed. Zuma (Andrew Francis) is there to have his prostate checked. They are in adjacent rooms tended to by a young nurse, Thandi, who lives in a township some distance away (Bu Kunene). For those familiar wit