The Strange Tale Of Charlie Chaplin And Stan Laurel - Birmingham Rep
Dates & Times
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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 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. 

Co-commissioned by the London International Mime Festival. The events in this play are fictional. This play is certainly not endorsed by the estates of Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel or anyone else for that matter! 

Post Show Discussion 26 February

Relaxed performance Friday 28 February

This performance will be preceded by the short film Cops and Robbers, created by performers from Open Theatre.

The matinee performance on 29 February will be preceded by the short film, Come With Me Sunshine, created by performers from Hubbub Theatre.

Both films have been created as part of Told by an Idiot's participation project, The Silent Treatment, working with underrepresented theatre makers across the UK and inspired by the spirit and skill of silent movie comedy.


Sara Alexander
Nick Haverson
Jerone Marsh-Reid
Amalia Vitale


Writer and Director Paul Hunter
Designer Ioana Curelea
Lighting Designer Aideen Malone
Composer Zoe Rahman
Physical Comedy Consultant Jos Houben
Song Arrangement Sophie Cotton 
Dance Choreography Nuna Sandy for ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company
Video Designer Dom Baker
Assistant Director Andrea Cabrera Luna
From an idea by Irene Cotton
With additional material from the company

Told By An Idiot’s tribute to the masters of silent slapstick can’t help but leave the broadest of grins on its audience’s faces

The Reviews Hub

Blissful entertainment…A treat, silly and sublime

The Telegraph

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


Silliness at its most complex and delightful


Theatre about as inventive, imaginative and fantastical as it gets

Time Out

There’s nothing quite like it… wild and funny with a serious core

The Times on My Perfect Mind

Anarchically inclusive joy… I now believe in the transformative power of theatre

The Sunday Times on Get Happy

Company & Creatives


Pianist, Hannah Chaplin (Charlie's mother)
Fred Karno, Charlie's Dad, Arthur, Savoy Guest, Oliver Hardy, Charlie's Butler
Stan Laurel, Bell Boy, Doctor, Landlord
Charlie Chaplin
Ticket Information

From £15

Fees and Charges
Please note we charge a transaction fee of £2.50 on all payment types. This covers administration costs and postage and enables us to provide a dedicated booking service. This charge does not apply to transactions under £10, group bookings over 50 and school group bookings. We also waive this charge if you are a REP Friend. Please talk to a member of our box office team if you require further information.

Further Information
Age Recommended for ages 10+
Post Show Discussion 26 February
Relaxed Performance 28 February
Running Time 90 minutes (no interval)
Registered Office: Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2EP. Company No. 00295910
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