Jon Bennett: How I Learned to Hug

Not a love story but a story of love, loss, sex and hugging told to a lady lookalike of Jay-Z whilst detained as a suspected terrorist in the Montreal Airport…

A true story.

May
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            1. 5:30 pm
              Jon Bennett: How I Learned to Hug

              See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2018/05/jon-bennett-how-i-learned-to-hug/ for details.

              Location: McManus Stage

          June
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              1. 8:30 pm
                Jon Bennett: How I Learned to Hug

                See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2018/05/jon-bennett-how-i-learned-to-hug/ for details.

                Location: McManus Stage

            2. 3
              1. 1:30 pm
                Jon Bennett: How I Learned to Hug

                See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2018/05/jon-bennett-how-i-learned-to-hug/ for details.

                Location: McManus Stage

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                  1. 7:00 pm
                    Jon Bennett: How I Learned to Hug

                    See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2018/05/jon-bennett-how-i-learned-to-hug/ for details.

                    Location: McManus Stage

                2. 7
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                    1. 6:30 pm
                      Jon Bennett: How I Learned to Hug

                      See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2018/05/jon-bennett-how-i-learned-to-hug/ for details.

                      Location: McManus Stage

                  2. 9
                    1. 10:00 pm
                      Jon Bennett: How I Learned to Hug

                      See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2018/05/jon-bennett-how-i-learned-to-hug/ for details.

                      Location: McManus Stage

                  4 thoughts on “Jon Bennett: How I Learned to Hug”

                  1. Barry Brown
                    Reviewer
                    says:

                    Fringe fans who have seen Bennett’s previous shows such as “Pretending Things are a Cock” and “Fire in the Meth Lab” know that he is an extraordinarily gifted storyteller who can blend humour and poignancy into an engaging and highly entertaining tale. These gifts are once again on display in “How I Learned to Hug”.

                    The story of how Bennett started to hug again after renouncing all public displays of affection for seven years begins (if that is the right word) at the Montreal airport where he has been detained after a can of pepper spray is found in his bag. When an invasive cavity search proves unnecessary, Bennett blurts out “I love you” to the Jay-Z lookalike female officer. Her response of “You don’t know what love is” prompts Bennett to prove that he does by telling her the story that is the show.

                    The tale takes us through Bennett’s experiences with love, from his first boyhood crush, to the heartbreak of betrayal that caused him to refuse to hug, to the companionship of a drunken sailor who has just come out as gay, and finally to the woman who convinces him to hug again. All of this occurs at breakneck speed and is somehow knit together into a coherent and entertaining whole.

                    Of course, this being a Jon Bennett story, my description is far too straightforward to do it justice. It leaves out, for example, his tendency to “Forrest Gump” away from painful moments, the importance of his Nan’s bundle of sticks and why Bennett spends the entire show in a dress. Bennett is such a wonderful storyteller that the magic he creates through his stories cannot be captured in a simple, narrative description. You have to hear it from him.

                  2. A. Graham says:

                    I was one of a group of five who saw this show. All of us loved it.
                    If you are not comfortable with sexual content, then prepare to be uncomfortable. This is quite a show. It never dragged and was well written.
                    I actually don’t care for the picture that promotes the show. It is not really appealing, and the show certainly is.

                  3. L Graham says:

                    This is a polished, well rehearsed show (take note Colette Kendall) and very funny to boot. Jon is an accomplished storyteller and performer.

                  4. Jay Ménard
                    Reviewer
                    says:

                    Embrace the Opportunity to See Bennett’s Best Show Yet

                    Jon Bennett is a masterful storyteller who is a veteran of the Fringe circuit. And How I Learned to Hug is likely his most well-rounded, heart-warming story. Over the years, from Pretending Things are a Cock to My Dad’s Deaths, we’ve seen him grow and develop as a storyteller, infusing ribald humour with warmth — and with How I Learned to Hug, we see him fully build an uproariously hilarious show upon a foundation of heart, vulnerability, and sensitivity.

                    How I Learned to Hug is a story inspired by a customs experience at Montreal’s Trudeau Airport, where he feels he needs to justify the fact that he has felt love in the past. For the next hour, he regales us with his stories of loves lost and found, and how they, for a period, forced him to eschew the idea of hugging and public displays of affection.

                    Bennett, as he’s shown over the years, is a master at integrating photo evidence of his past to punctuate story points. Even his “running” movement is charmingly endearing.

                    Bennett does reach into the audience at times to share personal experiences. He skillfully uses the crowd work to integrate us into the story. It’s not overused, it doesn’t feel forced, and it immediately gets us on board with the story. For a story about not hugging, the audience is instantly embraced into the show.

                    It seems every year that we say Bennett’s show is a must-see and this year’s no different. He has skillfully built upon the foundation that previous shows establish and we are left with a unique blend of gut-busting laughter and emotional resonance in his wake.

                    Embrace this incredible opportunity and see How I Learned to Hug.

                    *****

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