Home > The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel
A Told by an Idiot and Theatre Royal Plymouth Production presents

The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel + Post-show discussion

with Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Unity Theatre, Liverpool
Created by Told by an Idiot
Written & Directed by Paul Hunter
With additional material by the company

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 soul-mate 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, 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.

Co commissioned by the London International Mime Festival.

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!

The production is accessible to D/deaf audiences. The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel is mainly without words, but does contain music and some short songs. Silent film style captions are used throughout to add detail to the action on stage.

★★★★★ “Strictly speaking it is a mime show, but not as we know it… A riot of hilarious stage business and slapstick comedy.” – Musical Theatre Review

★★★★ “It [is] a delight to submerge oneself in the wordless world [Paul] Hunter and his company weave, powerfully summoning that moment when vaudeville and silent movies meet… Taken sketch by sketch, this fantasia on Chaplin and Laurel – all at sea, but on the precipice of superstardom – is seldom less than magical.” – The Guardian

★★★★ “This invention-stuffed and music-crammed show (hats off to tireless pianist Sara Alexander) delivers what mime does best – total clarity in terms of movement but an abiding mystery as to what’s fully being said… A treat, silly and sublime.” – Daily Telegraph

★★★★ “Told By An Idiot’s tribute to the masters of silent slapstick can’t help but leave the broadest of grins on its audience’s faces.” – The Reviews Hub

★★★★ “Hilarious… [A] riotous masterclass in storytelling… Told By An Idiot brings an anarchic story to life with energetic glee.” – What’s On Stage

“Immensely charming… The performances are a delight.” – The Stage

Event details

There will be a post-show discussion after the performance of The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel on Wed 5th Feb.