Charlie & Stan

by Handy Mag
Published: Last Updated on

A poignant celebration of two men who changed the world of comedy

Told by an Idiot presents

York Theatre Royal, 14-18 Feb 2023

Inspired by real life events intertwined with a fantastical reimagining, Charlie & Stan, Told by an Idiot’s acclaimed production about comedy legends Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel, comes to York Theatre Royal from February 14th to 18th.

Bringing to the stage the remarkable story of the greatest comedy double act that nearly was, Charlie & Stan is a homage to two comedy legends, looking at the two-year period they spent touring together before either became famous.

Playing fast and loose with the facts and with an original piano score composed by Mercury Award Nominee Zoe Rahman played live each night, Charlie & Stan is no nostalgic bio-drama, but a celebration of two men who changed the world of comedy forever.

In 1910 the unknown Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel set sail for New York as part of Fred Karno’s famous music hall troupe. On this journey, Charlie and Stan shared a cabin and then spent two years together touring North America, with Stan as Charlie’s understudy.

Stan returned home, later finding success with his soulmate Oliver Hardy. Charlie developed his Little Tramp character and within five years became one of the most famous figures in the world. In Charlie Chaplin’s highly detailed autobiography Stan Laurel is never mentioned. Stan talked about Charlie all his life.

Told by an Idiot co-founder and artistic director Paul Hunter said, “Charlie & Stan kicks off our 30th anniversary celebrations, which will see the Idiots take our homage to Chaplin and Laurel out on the road again and we will also be co-producing with the hugely inventive New Vic Theatre for a show in April 2023.

“There will of course, in true Idiot style, be an eclectic range of spontaneous and anarchic happenings throughout the year as we continue to strive for our audiences to leave the theatre with a smile on their face and remember that Told by an Idiot put it there”.

14-18 February 2023

Evenings 7.30pm

Matinees Thurs 2pm & Sat 2.30pm

Box office 01904 623568 |

Running time 90 minutes (no interval)

Suitable for all ages

The show is accessible to D/deaf audiences. It is non-verbal, very physical and performed in the style of a silent movie, featuring occasional intertitles to help tell the story. There are two songs in the show, which are not captioned. The lyrics to these songs can be found on

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