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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

Virtually live @curtaincall @finborough @pbp_podcast

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Virtual readings and podcasts for those in need of a theatre fix... And finding that they have more time in the evenings... A Separate Peace On Saturday 2 May at 7pm, David Morrissey, Denise Gough, Jenna Coleman, Ed Stoppard and Maggie Service headline Tom Stoppard’s, A Separate Peace . This is the first in a series of live-streamed virtual readings called The Remote Read . It will raise money for creatives, stage technicians and food charities. Tickets for the live reading are available from £10. The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour’s play ‘One Day of the Year’ was seen at the Finborough a few years back. It takes an unflinching and honest look at the day Australians, and New Zealanders commemorate their war dead. This live reading, presented by Kathy Lette, is directed by Wayne Harrison. The Australian and New Zealand cast, including Mark Little, Kerry Fox, Daniel Monks, Celeste Dodwell and Paul Haley. Commissioned by the Australian High Commission as part of its Anza

Theatre Readings: Open Stage Angelic Tales

As part of its Open Stage programme this year, the Theatre Royal Stratford East is holding a series of readings of new plays this week, curated by Rikki Beadle-Blair . I caught The Miriam Gospel by Ben Fensome on Tuesday which is a surreal roller coaster ride into this history of homosexuality. Thanks to the internet, you don't need to read a review but can watch the performance below. If you're pressed for time, I would recommend skipping to the monologue by a leopard slug, which comes in at 1 hour 50 seconds. It describes in graphic slimy detail slug sex and is disgusting and not for the squeamish. And I loved it. This is a series to watch for potential future playwrights and performers. Readings run until Saturday for now but more are to come later this year... It is worth a look and make sure you stay for the post show discussions as they are wonderfully entertaining and insightful about how the actors and writers grappled with the material and got it into shape... T