... And This Is My Friend Mr Laurel (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

... And This Is My Friend Mr Laurel

Michael Wharley

One-man biography of a familiar face

Jeffrey Holland, a delightful old thesp familiar from Hi de Hi, and other TV shows from the olden days, is the perfect fellow to telescope the lives and careers of Laurel and Hardy into an affectionate hour-long one-hander.

Laurel, retired and living in California, is visiting his old pal on his deathbed. He admires his catheter and calls him Babe, his showbiz nickname. They shoot the shit, in a one-sided way, with the many poignant moments broken up by Holland putting on a too-small bowler hat, pulling down his eyebrows and inserting short, appropriate reruns of Laurel & Hardy routines.

It’s charming and gentle, very much in the plangent style of the pair’s original comedy. For those of us who are not Sons of the Desert, it might be a little long, but it will come in useful at the next pub quiz. Stan Laurel was married seven times. His most regular fan mail came from an ostrich farmer in South Africa. With Hardy, he made 105 movies. Those who know this already should definitely see this show.

Pleasance Courtyard, 0131 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 6, 13, 20), £11 (£10).

… And This Is My Friend Mr Laurel

Jeffrey Holland plays one of the world's best-loved comedy stars, Stan Laurel, in this one-man performance.