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EDINBURGH FRINGE: ...And This Is My Friend Mr Laurel *****

Published by: Clare Brotherwood on 7th Aug 2018 | View all blogs by Clare Brotherwood

He may not have been to Edinburgh since 1955 but Stan Laurel is back this year the shape of Hi-De-Hi’s Jeffrey Holland and a show which has been selling out at the Fringe for the last three or four years!

With his Derby hat and bow tie, Holland looks uncannily like the English half of ‘the most famous comedy duo of all time’, Laurel and Hardy. But when the spotlight goes out and the hat comes off it’s a world away from Vaudeville. Oliver Hardy, or Babe as he was known, has had a stroke, and when Laurel goes to visit him his reminiscences cleverly provide the substance for a show.

There may only be an empty bed frame, but Holland’s performance is such that you can see Babe lying there, gravely ill. His attempts to cheer up his old partner while obviously being upset at what he sees had my eyes filling up within minutes. It’s beautifully delivered, moving, poignant and provides an insight into their relationship.

He recalls how they met, the success they enjoyed, the wives they married, the problems and heartaches they endured. And when the hat and the spotlight goes on there are snippets of their performances with Holland becoming both Laurel and Hardy.

There are, of course, laughs along the way, but Holland’s lifelong love of the comedy duo means you’re getting so much more.

...And This Is My Friend Mr Laurel is at The Pleasance Courtyard (Upstairs) EH8 9TJ most days at 11.30am.


Box Office: 0131 556 6550



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