Royal Court Liverpool’s ambitious plan to recreate Laurel and Hardy’s classic film Sons of the Desert on stage is coming together, with the announcement that Michael Starke and Roy Brandon will play the iconic comedy duo.
The theatre released the first promotional images of the pair last week, and it’s fair to say the actors are certainly looking the part.
Roy Brandon, known for Royal Court shows including Brick Up the Mersey Tunnels, The Salon, and Council Depot Blues, says: ““Me and Mickey have known each other for years and whenever we get together we have such a laugh. We’ve both done our fair share of stand up and impressions and we have been saying for a long time that we should do some sort of double act, so this is perfect for us both. It’s a big ask because they are such massive screen icons but we will have a ball doing it and hopefully the audience will too.”
Michael Starke adds: “It’s a massive privilege to get an iconic role like this, it’s the chance to play one of my comedy heroes in my home town. I’ve worked with Roy before in Cavern Of Dreams many years ago and it will be brilliant to get up on stage with him again. I’ve already started trying to put the weight on for the part so fingers crossed I’ll look right for the show!”
They will be joined by a supporting cast of Matt Connor (Around The World In 80 Days – New Vic), Lori Haley Fox (9 to 5 Tour), Jonathan Markwood (Lennon – Royal Court Liverpool) and Penelope Woodman (Birds Of A Feather Tour).
In Sons of the Desert, Stan and Ollie are in need of some rest, some relaxation and some time away from Mrs L and Mrs H. 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…
The Royal Court’s artistic director Ken Alexander is directing. The script for the play is a direct transcript of thefilm, and the project will be 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.
Before the main event, there will be a Laurel and Hardy revue show featuring some of your favourite Stan and Ollie songs and sketches with the whole cast getting involved.
Sons Of The Desert will run from September 27 to October 26. Tickets and information are available from www.royalcourtliverpool.com or on 0870 787 1866.