A hilarious and deeply moving homage to two men who changed the world of comedy forever....

A Told by an Idiot and Theatre Royal Plymouth production with Royal & Derngate Northampton and Unity Theatre Liverpool

Created by Told by an Idiot

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In 1910 the unknown Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel set sail for New York as part of Fred Karno’s famous music hall troupe.

On this journey, Charlie and Stan shared a cabin and then spent two years together touring North America, with Stan as Charlie’s understudy. Stan returned home, later finding success with his soulmate Oliver Hardy. Charlie developed his Little Tramp character and within five years became one of the most famous figures in the world.

In Charlie Chaplin’s highly detailed autobiography Stan Laurel is never mentioned. Stan talked about Charlie all his life.

Playing fast and loose with the facts and with an original live piano score composed by Mercury Award Nominee Zoe Rahman played live each night, The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel is no nostalgic bio-drama, but a hilarious and deeply moving homage to two men who changed the world of comedy forever.

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“This fantasia on Chaplin and Laurel – all at sea, but on the precipice of superstardom – is seldom less than magical”

★★★★ The Guardian

“Silliness at its most complex and delightful...riotous masterclass in storytelling”

★★★★ Whats On Stage

“Blissful entertainment...A treat, silly and sublime”

★★★★ The Telegraph

“Told by An Idiot's tribute to the masters of silent slapstick can't help but leave the broadest grins on its audience's faces”

★★★★ The Reviews Hub

“Noisy mime that tells a thousand comic words”

★★★★ The Daily Mail

“A tale told with immense imagination...a riot of hilarious stage business...expertly but riotously done”

★★★ Musical Theatre Review

“A triumph of silent comedy, design and music...as much a treat for the ears as it is for the eyes”

★★★★ Everything Theatre

Behind The Scenes

The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel

Rehearsal trailer:

Vox pops: 

Reviews trailer:


Relaxed Performance logo Relaxed Performance  Wed 12 Feb, 7.30pm

Northern Stage is fully accessible. The theatre has three lifts providing access to all parts of the building, including the accessible toilets, baby changing facilities, stages 2 & 3 and the backstage area. Buggy parking is available. To discuss any access needs, take a look at our access page or please call our Box Office on 0191 230 5151.