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Classic night at the theatre.

Byline: Pete Price Name-dropper

I WAS sitting in the Royal Court Theatre waiting to witness the world premiere of Laurel and Hardy's Sons of the Desert - another first for Liverpool.

Roy Brandon thinks he is Stan Laurel and Mickey Starke went to the extreme and put the weight on to play the part of Oliver Hardy.

Roy and I have done panto six times together - he's fantastic to work with. Mickey Starke is a talented and unpredictable performer. You watch him and wonder will he go off script into one of his hilarious ad libs.

I didn't know what to expect and was gobsmacked. The first half was a cabaret, the second half the first live stage version of this classic film.

Sons of the Desert was cleverly staged. I kept wondering why the Royal Court picked this film, but it didn't matter because it works.

Let's go back to the first half. It was loosely based on the type of live variety shows which Stan and Ollie were touring the UK with. In fact the final date of their tour was the Royal Court on October 26, 1953. Can you believe it was 60 years ago that these comic geniuses appeared in Liverpool? I was belly-laughing all the way through the evening. Roy and Mickey finished the first half with a slapstick scene, the famous hanging wallpaper. I have done this several times in pantomime, on the same stage with Roy and wanted to get up there to help, it was so funny.

I applaud the Royal Court for venturing out of their comfort zone, and to the lovely guys - you do Stan and Ollie proud!


PROFESSIONAL: Roy and Michael - This is the right way to do it!
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 10, 2013
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