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Bebop Spoken There

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Archive quotes.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

Postage

12,579 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 298 of them this year alone and, so far, 19 this month (March 4).

Sunday March 7

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEREMY McMURRAY & LIZ BEIDERBECKE

Friday, February 14, 2020

Review: The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin & Stan Laurel @ Northern Stage - Feb 13

(Review by Russell)

The house lights went down to the sound of King Oliver and the legendary call Oh, play that thing! The year is 1910, Fred Karno is soon to set sail for America. The impresario is to be joined on the Atlantic crossing by two characters who will find world-wide fame. For the next ninety minutes the Northern Stage audience would be taken on an anything-but-chronological, rollercoaster, not to mention scarcely truthful, ride telling the story of two of Hollywood's greatest ever stars. 


Told by an Idiot theatre company's four-strong cast didn't say much, in fact, the quartet said virtually nothing (other than for an occasional song) for the duration. This was a physical theatre production communicating with its audience through the medium of mime - make that slapstick mime. Karno (Nick Haverson), Chaplin (Amalia Vitale), Laurel (Jerone Marsh-Reid) and Hannah Chaplin, Chaplins' mother (Sara Alexander) were at the heart of the action, moving on and off stage as one scene ended and another began (at one point Chaplin wielded a movie director's megaphone to shout or rather mime 'cut'). The on-stage actors' silent physicalilty mirrored that of the actors of the silent movie era (Karno would soon lose his stage actors - Chaplin and Laurel - to Hollywood). 

Two pianos were pressed into action - one featured a recorded performance by pianist and composer Zoe Rahman playing brilliant barrelhouse blues to ragtime to Harlem stride, the other, on-stage piano was played by Sara Armstrong. Ms Armstrong is a pianist! Captions, as if in a movie theatre, hurried the action along. At one point the call (a caption) went out for a member of the audience to join the cast and occupy the piano stool. One brave/foolish soul volunteered. It was little more than melodramatic chopsticks but, hey, the man survived the ordeal. Cue applause!   

As a caption reminded us Charlie Chaplin would become the most famous man in the world. As for Stan Laurel, hooking up with Oliver Hardy (Nick Haverson) would see Stan and Ollie become the silver screen's greatest comic duo of all time.   
                
The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel proudly ignores the historical facts and will continue to do so for the remainder of its nationwide tour.  

Cast:

Sara Armstrong: Hannah Chaplin (Charlie's mother), pianist 

Nick Haverson: Fred Karno, Arthur Chaplin (Charlie's father), Savoy Hotel guest, Oliver Hardy, Charlie's butler

Jerone Marsh-Reid: Stan Laurel, bell boy, doctor, landlord

Amalia Vitale: Charlie Chaplin

Paul Hunter: writer & director

Zoe Rahman: composer

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