The Laurel and Hardy Cabaret
Roll up roll up, were the sentiments of ‘the Laurel and Hardy Cabaret’ as the duo stepped onstage. It was as if we had come across a portal to the past with posters of the two’s shows on the wall they sidled up in full Mimicking costumes. The scene was set for my online viewing of this year’s comedy at the Scenesavers festival.
In all politeness Ollie (Hardy) began by addressing the audience with the famed words of ‘Ladies and gentlemen’. So the comedy that poured out was with the use of props and stories from the duo’s real act from the 20’s to the 50’s of the twentieth century.
The nostalgic black and white films are something of a cult for comedy and film of the time but the show was thrown into a new disarray of timely responses and reactions. The audience were mostly children who from the sound of their laughter and cheering enjoyed it very much.
From this I could sit back with the job done of relinquishing the show and simply take it in because as a show it had its own merits. It let me appreciate the act and its nuances I also fairly recently saw the film ‘Stan and Ollie’ that portrayed their sensitive act which at times was like a roller coaster for the two.
Ollie’s pristine and well to do appearance would always want things clean and well presented while Stan always seemed to do his best at disrupting anything Ollie said. They used original jokes blended with fresh takes but were all about doing what the two did back then which was to really entertain on stage.
Their sweetness only grew as they merged into their gentle but slapstick roles. The story included their journeys within their act and without in their friendship off stage. They were two charming clowns in tie and waist coat with the legendary hats and Ollie’s tiny moustache.
In his innocent cajoling Stan’s antics were so many as to compile their own show, his work with a balloon was a turn of events as he let the air out to make that sound Ollie was left wandering where it was coming from.
It had begun with a skit about Stan’s driving licence application and the joke went into hilarity with clever word use so as to baffle Ollie who only wanted to help. It was just the right level of reflection so as to really get to grips with its wonderful homage. The original duos accomplishments and revelations of friendship had been and are still around today for our enjoyment, making them very famous conservative clowns.
With Ollie’s preparedness and Stan chaotic workings, they travelled in and out of cities and countries where their show would bring the house down, yes with comedy but also in nostalgia in the shows that made them so famous. All of which helping to make this act all the more revelatory for themselves and where they made those moments of the show that always lifted the audience.
And every time they returned to the comedy template of the two characters singing and joking with a friendly heart. Trying to push the boundaries with fresh antics we were held there in the past for the show and were really reminded by the songs and music just how long ago it was. As touching and charming as they were this act wound up nicely with a touching goodbye.