“You can’t tell a life story
until you’ve had a life!”
With his one-man show …And This Is My Friend Mr Laurel on the horizon, we spoke to Hi-de-Hi! star Jeffrey Holland about his idol Stan Laurel, his career to date and receiving wisdom from literary sources…
What can we expect from the show?
You can expect a tale of two men’s lives, the ups, the downs, the roughs and the smooths. A story of a pair of remarkable careers creating one of the most famous cinema teams in movie history.
What inspired you to take on the role of Stan Laurel?
It’s a role I hit on the idea of playing over 40 years ago! I wanted to tell this amazing story but knew I had to wait until I was the right age – and now I am. You can’t tell a life story until you’ve had a life!
How did you go about imagining what might have been said between the pair?
The fact is that only one voice is heard! Oliver Hardy is imagined lying in a sick bed unable to speak or move after a massive stroke. Stan arrives to visit him and just talks at random about their lives together. This is how the story unfolds.
How do you value your achievements with Mr Laurel in relation to your career on screen?
My career on the screen was a very lucky thing for me (and) paved the way for me to use my name and Stan Laurel’s to achieve this play’s success.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Hamlet’s friend Polonius said it: “This above all: to thine own self be true!”
You can see Jeffrey Holland in the three-time Edinburgh Fringe sell-out show …And This Is My Friend Mr Laurel on Thursday 17 January at 7.30pm. To find out more and book tickets, follow the link here.