Is there any chance the latest development at the Royal Court was inspired by its previous production Hope, we wonder?
The theatre has announced its autumn show will be bringing Laurel and Hardy back to life in a world premiere stage production of their classic comedy Sons of the Desert.
The cast is to be announced shortly but we’re told it will be a mix of some Royal Court favourites and some new faces. With no hints yet as to who is involved, it seems a little strange that this will be the second show at the theatre this year to incorporate Laurel and Hardy, who popped up throughout Scot Williams’s psychological drama Hope back in March.
A brand new show, it will be directed by artistic director Ken Alexander, who has just got the ball rolling with the hugely enjoyable Ladies Day (which runs for a few more weeks). The script for the play is a direct transcript of the film version of Sons of the Desert, and the ambitious project is apparently the first of its kind. The producers have secured the rights to transfer the show to the West End if it is a success and has the backing of the rights holders to both the Laurel and Hardy franchise and the film itself.
In Sons of the Desert, Stan and Ollie are in need of some rest, relaxation and time away from their wives. Stan persuades their better halves that Ollie is suffering from a ‘nervous shakedown’ and so they should head off to Honolulu for the good of their health. In fact, they head back to Chicago for the annual meeting of the Sons Of The Desert Lodge and their wives will never find out – unless the ship that they were supposed to be travelling on happens to sink…
Kevin Fearon, the show’s producer and chief executive of Royal Court Liverpool, says: “This is a show that I have been hoping to be able to produce for a few years now. I’ve always been a big fan of Laurel and Hardy – who isn’t? – and everyone involved in the project leaped at the chance to be involved. There are some big challenges involved in transferring a film to stage but we know how dedicated Stan and Ollie fans are so we are determined to get it just right. We know how much our Liverpool audience loves a good comedy so we’re producing one of the best.”
Sons Of The Desert will run from Friday September 27 to Saturday October 26. Tickets are on sale now. Here’s a clip of the movie: