In 1910, the unknown Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel set sail for New York as part of Fred Karno’s famous music hall troupe. On this journey, Charlie and Stan shared a cabin and then spent two years together touring North America, with Stan as Charlie’s understudy. Stan returned home, later finding success with his soulmate Oliver Hardy. Charlie developed his Little Tramp character and within five years became one of the most famous figures in the world.
In Charlie Chaplin’s highly detailed autobiography, Stan Laurel is never mentioned.
Stan talked about Charlie all his life.
Playing fast and loose with the facts and with an original piano score composed by Mercury Award Nominee Zoe Rahman—played live by an on-stage pianist—The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel is no nostalgic bio-drama, but a hilarious and deeply moving homage to two men who changed the world of comedy forever.
The events in this play are fictional. This play is certainly not endorsed by the estates of Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, or anyone else for that matter!
Running time: 1hr 30mins (approx.)
Age guidance: 14+
Previews: Thu 14–Sat 16 Nov
Postshow Q&A: Wed 20 & 27 Nov
Relaxed: Wed 27 Nov, 7.15pm
A Theatre Royal Plymouth and Told by an Idiot production
The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel
with Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Unity Theatre, Liverpool
Created by Told by an Idiot
There’s nothing quite like it… wild and funny with a serious core.
The Times (My Perfect Mind)
Told by an Idiot’s work is never less than sublime.
Theatre about as inventive, imaginative, and fantastical as it gets.
Writer and Director: Paul Hunter
Designer: Ioana Curelea (Naomi Wilkinson Award for Stage Design 2019)
Lighting Designer: Aideen Malone
Composer: Zoe Rahman
Physical Comedy Consultant: Jos Houben
Song Arrangement by Sophie Cotton
Dancy Choreography by Nuna Sandy (Zoonation: The Kate Prince Company)
From an idea by Irene Cotton
Additional material created by the company.