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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

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