Welcome to

The Charlie Hall Picture Archive

 
 

LAUREL AND HARDY
by
TOM MCGRATH

BRAND NEW, RARE BOOK, RRP £8.99

Laurel and Hardy by Tom McGrath

The above prices include postage and packaging costs (see below for details).


A brand new copy of Tom McGrath's play Laurel and Hardy. This book has been hard to find for some time now and if you look at Amazon you'll see second hand copies of this much sought after play for sale at £50! I have secured a very limited stock, when they're gone they're gone!

If bought with my book The Charlie Hall Picture Archive you only pay The Charlie Hall Picture Archive postage and packaging cost, if you want to buy both books please email me your details and I will send you an invoice.  If you wish to buy more than one copy then please get in touch as I can offer reduced postage rates.

To contact me please CLICK HERE

POSTAGE + PACKAGING COSTS ARE INCLUDED IN THE ABOVE PRICE

I will pack the book with at least one piece of cardboard and mark the envelope PLEASE DO NOT BEND

UK POSTAGE SECOND CLASS (SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, WALES, NORTHERN IRELAND ONLY)
EUROPEAN POSTAGE ROYAL MAIL AIRMAIL PRINTED PAPER (ALL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES)
REST OF WORLD ROYAL MAIL AIRMAIL PRINTED PAPER


Tom McGrath: Playwright, poet, musician; Born October 23, 1940; Died April 29, 2009. Tom McGrath, died from cancer aged 68, he was a playwright and polymath without whom the arts scene in Scotland would not have been as vibrant. McGrath's plays began with Laurel and Hardy and The Hardman, both part of a long association with Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, and culminated in his final work, the quasi-autobiographical My Old Man.


About the play: More than 50 years later, in the early 1970s, the actors Kenny Ireland and John Shedden visited the home of playwright Tom McGrath. They wanted him to put a show together about Laurel and Hardy, of whom they were both fans. Their reason was simple, McGrath recalls: "It would be popular because Stan and Ollie were so popular." McGrath’s play was first staged at the Traverse, with Ireland playing Ollie.

McGrath’s play debuted in 1973, for an audience still raised on black-and-white silent comedies in films and TV. After Hollywood lost interest in Laurel and Hardy during the Second World War, they were revived by the small screen in the 1950s, and the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy remained a TV staple for years. But can they still compete for attention for youngsters raised on the text message and PlayStation?

Laurel and Hardy are cultural icons, McGrath responds. "I think they definitely have lasting appeal. They are so instantly recognisable. They are a brand name, people use them in advertising, in cartoons; people still know who they are even if they haven’t seen them." Many of us still have them somewhere at the back of our minds. That quackety-quack theme tune; Laurel’s slow breakdown into weeping and Hardy’s coy tie-wiggling; slapstick, mayhem; and, inevitably, Hardy’s catchphrase, "That’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into."

The play features plenty of the best repartee, but less of the violent slapstick, which often depended heavily on film techniques, or would be too dangerous to switch from screen to stage. Stan’s trick of setting his thumb on fire instead of a match is a case in point.

"Laurel had a great kind of comedy that was all his own," says McGrath. "When I was working on the play, the more I got to know about him as a writer, the more in awe of him I became."

But McGrath does not discount the skills of Oliver Hardy. The boy soprano who ran away from home to join a minstrel show was first cast as a heavyweight villain because of his build. "It took a long time before his comic potential was realised. He was magical in front of a camera. That was the thing about Ollie, the emotions he can convey. He was a wonderful performer."

TIM CORNWELL (edited from The Scotsman Newspaper)