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Charlie & Stan - Theatre Royal Bath REVIEW

Laurel and Hardy are arguably one of the most famous comedy duos, but what if it wasn’t really meant to be.

Stan Laurel met Charlie Chaplin in 1910 and set sail to New York as unknown performers as part of Fred Karno’s famous music hall group.

The pair nearly became a double act whilst sharing a cabin and comedy routines. But by the end of the journey, they had drifted apart and Stan met Olly to start a new chapter in his career.

Credit: Anna Barclay

Inspired by real-life events, Told by an Idiot’s production of Charlie & Stan tells the story of the greatest comedy double act that nearly was.

The production is entirely silent with an original piano score played live every night, as well as occasional accompaniment on the drums.

This wordless show gets by with ease with its witty jokes, clever slapstick and occasional subtitles.

Charlie Chaplin, played by Danielle Bird, stole the show and had you engaged with every gag and movement becoming more and more like Chaplin as it goes on.

Stan Laurel, played by Jerone Marsh-Reid and Nick Haverson as additional characters including Frank Karno strongly supported. Haverson’s drunk Dad character and his drumming were particularly brilliant.

The piano score which is custom for the exact timings of gags and falls each night is played by Sara Alexander who drags on an unwilling member of the audience to play the


Credit: Anna Barclay

Cheeky and clever, this production feels both like a timeless classic and refreshingly new discovery.

Charlie and Stan is produced by Told by an Idiot, Theatre Royal Bath and David Pugh, the Olivier and Tony award-winning producer of Educating Rita, Art and Calendar Girls.

David said that Charlie and Stan is “one of the most exciting shows I have ever worked on. I’m looking forward to taking it to audiences all over the world but Bath gets to see it first.”

Catch the production of Charlie & Stan at the Theatre Royal Bath until Saturday July 24.

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