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Hats Off to Laurel and Hardy by Philip Hutchinson
Lucky Dog Productions bring this occasionally heartbreaking biographical drama to the Grand Pavilion stage.
The play begins with Stan in the audience waiting for the show to start, Ollie admonishes him and comments on how long it had been since they had last seen each other, Stan agrees and replies ¬do you remember how dumb I was? Well I¬m better now..¬ So begins a short skit, inspired by 'Blockheads' in which Ollie mistakenly believes Stan to have lost a leg in the war. Ollie carries Stan onto the stage and they begin to recount important events from their lives, in character, to the audience. Their may be a danger that this form of monologue could become slightly flat and boring, however Phillip and Tony intersperse the tales with more live skits, jokes and songs inspired by the films; along with fantastic pre-recorded films which are a loving and accurate recreation of some of the best remembered scenes. A notable one being ¬Put ¬em up insect, before I comb your hair with lead¬, a phrase which will bring a smile to many Laurel and Hardy fans as the boys first time on scre! en together. It¬s a scene which works well, and the films which follow all show a high respect and admiration for their work.
Philip and Tony also pull of the characters nicely. Philip¬s ¬Ollie¬ successfully managing to stop short of making him seem like a bully, and Tony as Stan perfecting his blank look and trusting demeanor. The accents are good too, Stan¬s Americanised Lancashire twang, and Oliver¬s southern gentility both come across well.
The information they present is well pitched, there¬s plenty of good stuff for the most fervent fan, while not being too in depth so as to put others off. I even learned a few things, and remembered others I¬d either forgotten or not thought about for a while. I find it interesting to see how others interpret the information, things such as Laurel and Hardy¬s marital histories could be shown in many ways but here it is presented nicely. Not shying away from the facts or sugar coating their problems, but neither did it seek to ¬dig the dirt¬ and present our boys as monsters. The characters on stage had made mistakes along the way, had come to terms with them, and moved on.
It is a worthy addition to the increasing depictions of our favourite comedians, I had a great night out. (Mark Greenhow - The Laurel & Hardy Museum)
Wow! It's all been said before in your reviews but - after seeing your show last night - I must add a word of praise. The show was certainly 'one not to be missed'. I have seen many impersonations but NEVER a performance like this. It was like seeing them in the flesh, which I have been lucky enough to do; faithful, respectful, truthful... one runs out of words to express how perfect this was. What a treat. It was worth double/treble the price of admission. If it had been a double date, I would have returned on the following day. (KR)
Lucky Dog are on national tour, having received six five-star reviews at Brighton Fringe in 2013. The performance at the Grand Pavilion comes just three weeks after they play the show in Hollywood at the international Laurel & Hardy convention.
Tickets: £8 adv, £7 Friends, £10 doors
Evening performance - http://www.wegottickets.com/event/258946
Also from the Mining Museum (01629 583834) and Matlock Music Shop SOON!
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Saturday 26th July - 8pm evening performance
All seated performance
Bar and cafe available
Nearest train station - Matlock Bath (Derby to Matlock line).
Parking - 200 spaces on Temple Row
Local B and B's and Hotels:
Old Bank B and B - 01629 55550
Temple Hotel - 01629 583911
Cables B and B - 01629 583626
Ashdale Guest House - 01629 57826
Fountain B and B - 01629 824814
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