Jeffrey’s in another nice mess...

Jeffrey Holland in character as comedy legend Stan Laurel
Jeffrey Holland in character as comedy legend Stan Laurel

He made his name as likeable Spike in TV holiday camp sitcom Hi-de-Hi – now Jeffrey Holland is coming to Thornton Little Theatre in the guise of comedy film legend Stan Laurel.

Fulfilling a long-held desire to pay tribute to his hero, he tells this funny and often poignant tale of friendship, love and dedication about one of Hollywood’s great film comedians.

‘Recounting their past success as the comedy double act Laurel and Hardy, this is a humorous and touching look at one of the great cinematic partnerships of the last century.’

Jeffrey, who also appeared in another hugely popular TV comedy, You Rang M’Lord, stars in the one-man show which is essentially about friendship, memories and a couple of remarkable lives.

It’s a treat for fans of the legendary double act, which Stan Laurel formed with Oliver Hardy back in 1927.

From then until 1950, the duo appeared in 107 films – 32 short silent films, 40 short sound films and 23 full-length feature films.

The pair performed their comic misadventures with flawless timing, along with the brilliant slapstick gags which Laurel often devised himself.

Hardy’s exasperated catchphrase, frequently misquoted ever since, often cropped up: “Here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!”

Jeffrey co-wrote the touring show, entitled “...and this is My Friend Mr Laurel”, with writer Gail Louw.

The 68-year-old actor, who has loved Laurel and Hardy since he was a boy growing up in Walsall in the West Midlands, met his co-writer at just the right time.

While he was enthusing to her about his dreams of performing as Stan Laurel, she was looking for a play to write.

Based on Jeffrey’s own research into the subject, the playwright set to work.

Set in the bedroom of a sick Oliver Hardy, the show takes place during Laurel’s visit to the dying man.

Recounting their past successes as the comedy double act Laurel and Hardy, this is a humorous and touching look at one of the great cinematic partnerships of the last century.

The show also has something of a resonance with theatregoers here in the North West.

Although Laurel is known as a legend of Hollywood’s golden age, he spent his early years in the Cumbrian town of Ulverston, which was then in Lancashire.

The show, which has attracted some excellent reviews, comes to Thornton Little Theatre on Thursday, October 15, beginning at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £14 for adults and £12 for concessions. Call the box office on (01253) 887693.