It is hard to believe, but legendary Hollywood comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy actually stayed and played in Yorkshire on no less than four occasions.
They came to Sheffield and Leeds on a whistle-stop tour of England and Scotland in 1932, just before hitting their peak. Then, in the forties and fifties, when their film career was over, they played in British variety theatres – including Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, and York. And there story is to be revealed at Doncaster Little Theatre.
The man to tell you all about these tours is Laurel and Hardy aficionado “A.J” Marriot, who has made a thirty-year study of the two Hollywood comedians, a subject he has written no less than six books about.
His first book – “Laurel & Hardy” – The British Tours” – has recently been made into a film, starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly in the name parts. The film will be in cinemas early next year, but you can catch a talk by “A.J”, detailing Stan and Ollie’s British tours, at the Doncaster Little Theatre on August 1.
The talk includes a special section on their stage appearances in Yorkshire and is lavishly illustrated with hundreds of stills, theatre programmes and posters, and actual footage of Laurel and Hardy in Britain.
Marriot said: “Although I have spent half-a-lifetime tracing Stan and Ollie’s stage work, not only in this country, but in Europe, and the US, I still find it hard to believe it is the same two men we see in the films. Many times I have asked myself if it is just two look-alikes who did these tours. But, it is all there in my presentation for fans to see and assure themselves it isn’t just yet another article from ‘Fake News.’
The talk “LAUREL and HARDY in YORKSHIRE” is on Tuesday August 1, 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Tickets from Doncaster Little Theatre box-office: Doncaster Little Theatre website or call 01302 340422. The £10 admission includes a voucher for £5 off any of Marriot’s five book titles. To see the list visit Laurel and Hardy Books website.