Laurel and Hardy

Fringe review: …AND THIS IS MY FRIEND MR LAUREL, Jeffrey Holland – Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Jeffrey Holland returns in his one-man show about friendship, memories and a couple of remarkable lives. Set in the bedroom of a sick Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel visits his dying friend. He recounts the previous successes of their comedy act, Laurel and Hardy, and touches on the history of this great cinematic partnership.

Holland encompasses Laurel throughout, from his facial expressions and speech patterns, to the way he places his hat upon his head, it’s all relevant and it’s all just right.

The content of the piece is a celebration of the duo’s history, most of it successful, some of it nostalgic and some of it reflective (like the number of wives they managed to total between them), but it comes from a good place. Laurel is feeling helpless in light of his friend’s illness; what will he do without him?

It’s apparent that Holland has a respect and an admiration for Laurel; it’s a retelling that comes from the heart via the funny bone. It will make you laugh and cry and will entertain the audience just the way it is supposed to, like Laurel and Hardy performing ‘The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia’ or getting into ‘another nice mess’ It’s just perfect the way it is.

Wonderful storytelling.

***** Five stars

Reviewed by: Rachel Louise Martin

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