The Laurel & Hardy Cabaret
Lucky Dog Theatre Productions

comedy

5+

50 mins

Baptist Hall

Thu at 17:45

Sat at 18:00

Sun at 19:00

The Laurel & Hardy Cabaret
Lucky Dog Theatre Productions

Lucky Dog Theatre Productions are generally regarded as the best Laurel & Hardy re-enactors in the world. Their popular biopic Hats Off To Laurel & Hardy has won awards, multiple five-star reviews, and played to packed houses and standing ovations throughout the UK and into America, Germany and the Czech Republic since 2013.

They have also played many conventions and events with other (often rare) material that Stan and Ollie once performed on stage, newsreels, records, lost footage and even scripts that were never filmed.

The Laurel & Hardy Cabaret is a bumper package of these routines, songs and dances from The Boys’ 30-year career.

Featuring some classic movie sequences, along with some hilarious Music Hall sketches the pair toured in the 1940s and 50s, you will be transported back to a more innocent time – yet still be amazed at how current their comedy remains.

This is Lucky Dog’s sixth visit to TheatreFest. Take a seat and have some hard-boiled eggs and nuts washed down with soda... soda... soda... and what will you have, Stan?

reviews

THE LAUREL AND HARDY CABARET (Karen Wain-Pilmott, Buxton Fringe Review, July 2020)

Lucky Dog Theatre Productions present ‘The Laurel and Hardy Cabaret’. With Tony Carpenter and Philip Hutchinson offering an uncanny portrayal of the much loved Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, prepare to get sentimental.

The show draws from over 100 films and music hall routines spanning their 30-year career, so settle back and enjoy classic slapstick comedy, song and dance at its best. Look out for my personal favourite the “soda, soda, soda” skit from their 1929 Men O’War movie.

The audience was in stitches and it was great to see a whole new group of children discovering Stan and Ollie for the first time almost 100 years after the original performances.

With gentle nostalgic humour, this show will suit all the whole family from young to old.

THE LAUREL AND HARDY CABARET (Sofia Luis-Hobbs, Leicestershire Press, 24th February 2020)

Laurel and Hardy are undoubtedly a classic comedy duo but they’re an acquired taste in this day and age. And if I didn’t quite acquire it, it certainly wasn’t for want of trying. I grew up watching them on DVD with my dad. It wasn’t my cup of tea but I sat and watched nonetheless, as he was reduced to hysterics beside me.

It’s been years since I’ve seen any of their films, but when the chance presented itself to go and see a cabaret version of their act I couldn’t help but smile at the thought – not necessarily at the show but at the memories it sparked.

The show began with the immortal theme tune, triggering giggles around the room and I knew then that the next 120 minutes would be a trip down memory lane for everyone in there.

Well, pretty much everyone. The cabaret had drawn a mixed crowd to the Great Hall of the Guildhall, including several younger children and a toddler or two who cooed during some inopportune moments – but Tony Carpenter and Philip Hutchinson had it covered. Quick on their feet, they found ways to incorporate these noises off into their performance, particularly whenever Laurel needed a talking to – which, of course, was often.

The duo really are the full package when it comes to impersonating the iconic pair. Not only did they embody the characters perfectly, they bear an uncanny physical resemblance of the original Laurel and Hardy.

Carpenter, who plays Laurel, mimics the famous head wiggle, the outbursts of crying and sheer naivety throughout the performance to a tee. Hutchinson, as Hardy, gets to dominate, which of course brings with it the famous tie grab alongside a flustered laugh and pursed lips.

The cabaret includes an array of the duo’s classic sketches, from their earlier works to their final ones, as well as some sketches that were never released.

Performing famous routines from Swiss Miss, Men O’ War and Sons of the Desert, Carpenter and Hutchinson pull it out of the bag – and no, I’m not talking about the random things Carpenter seems to pull out of his bag to irritate his onstage partner.

Yet they also brought the act up to date, with a song performed to a photo of Susan Boyle. It was unconventional but a stroke of genius, alongside other tricks they had up their sleeves to get younger audiences involved.

Fun-filled and family friendly, the cabaret is a true homage to the duo, which Laurel and Hardy fans will be sure to adore.

THE LAUREL & HARDY CABARET (Seraphina Allard-Bridge, Fringe TheatreFest Blog, 29th June 2019)

Lucky Dog Theatre Productions are back in Barnstaple, and this time they bring a medley of Laurel and Hardy’s best work, with something for everyone – whether it be singing, dancing or the classic Laurel and Hardy comedy that we all love.

Familiar music welcomes us into the Baptist Hall, which is home to a variety of sketches over the next hour. Although decades old, the humour never seems dated and will appeal to audiences of all ages. Much of comedy nowadays rests on politics and cultural references, so the humour of Laurel and Hardy is a refreshing departure from this, relying only on the universality of the human experience.

​I think it is the rapport between these two performers above all that helps the comedy to resonate across decades and across generations; at times like parent and child, at times like squabbling siblings, the playful dynamic created on stage is a relationship that we can all relate to. Laurel’s naïve and earnest character is contrasted by Hardy’s exasperation, and Tony Carpenter and Philip Hutchinson’s carefully crafted characterisation perfectly captures this.

Over the performance, we are transported to a variety of places and situations. Carpenter and Hutchinson masterfully juggle their props and music in order to smoothly recreate the range of iconic sketches. Even the technical difficulties that were thrown their way were tackled with humour and charm, and the audience were delighted throughout. Whether it is to relive the joy of Stan and Ollie or to discover them for the first time, The Laurel and Hardy Cabaret is well worth a watch.