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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

In rehearsal: Porgy and Bess

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Rehearsal images have been released for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess which runs at Regents Park Open Air Theatre from 17 July to 23 August. In this production dialogue will replace the sung recitatives, but the loss of some of the original material might be offset by the glorious surrounds of Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. While it is unlikely to feel as warm as South Carolina in the summer, it will no doubt feel a lot more atmospheric than a traditional theatre space.