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Showing posts with the label Christopher Shutt

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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

Finishing the hat: Far Away @Donmarwarehouse

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Young Joan can't sleep. Was there a bump in the night? Or a scream? She is staying with her Aunt Harper, and she reassures her it's probably an owl. They seem to be in the English countryside. But with her aunt's responses becoming less and less convincing as she pauses and thinks about them, young Joan knows she has stumbled on something sinister about the world. And not just because aunty isn't a convincing liar or her armchair is filthy and worn. Thus begins the short descent into a dystopia where people are rounded up for inexplicable reasons, and you're never sure who is with you or against you. It’s currently playing at the Donmar Warehouse . It's a short descent as Caryl Churchill's piece runs only forty-five minutes. But in that time it's an unsettling enough to leave the audience nervously laughing. In the twenty years since its premiere, the fears of all controlling entities have only grown thanks to a vibrant network of social media, pseu