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Showing posts with the label Jonny Labey

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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

The Will Young show: Strictly Ballroom @TeamPiccadilly

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Love is in the air in Strictly Ballroom, currently playing at The Piccadilly Theatre . It’s the musical based on Baz Luhrmann’s 1992 movie about a boy daring to dance his own steps in the cut-throat world of amateur ballroom dancing.  T h e movie was full of irony and light-heartedness with its corny follow your heart and ugly duckling storylines. Here the musicalisation hits this message over your head as if you’re watching the fall of communism. Jonny Labey and Zizi Strallen in the lead roles as the unlikely dance couple give the show style and pizazz. He’s a rebel, she’s an ugly duckling. There is also a thrilling paso doble danc e sequence to close the first act. They even get to sing two lines and sound terriffic. But the show is superfluously narrated by Will Young. He’s also the band leader singing all the songs. While this isn’t necessarily a bad idea, here it gives the impression you’re watching the Will Young musical. And often his light vocals are lost in the theatre. The