In light of current government advice which stipulates that people shouldn’t be attending theatres or other public gatherings, we regret to inform our audiences that the remaining tour dates for ’The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel’ are no longer continuing. We have loved touring this wonderful show but our priority is to ensure the safety of our touring company and our audiences. If you have booked tickets for the show, please contact the relevant theatre box office who can help you further.


A Told by an Idiot and Theatre Royal Plymouth production
with Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Unity Theatre, Liverpool

Created by Told by an Idiot 

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. 

Playing fast and loose with the facts and with an original piano score composed by Mercury Award Nominee Zoe Rahman played live each night, The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel is no nostalgic bio-drama, but a hilarious and deeply moving homage to two men who changed the world of comedy forever. 

Co-commissioned by London International Mime Festival. 

The production is accessible to D/deaf audiences. The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel is mainly without words, but does contain music and some short songs (lyrics here). Silent film style captions are used throughout to add detail to the action on stage.


★★★★ ‘this fantasia on Chaplin and Laurel... is seldom less than magical’ GUARDIAN

★ ‘blissful entertainment…A treat, silly and sublime’ TELEGRAPH

★ 'noisy mime that tells a thousand comic words' DAILY MAIL

★ 'can’t help but leave the broadest of grins on its audience’s faces’ REVIEWSHUB

★ ‘riotous masterclass in storytelling’ WHATSONSTAGE



Writer and Director Paul Hunter
Designer Ioana Curelea (Naomi Wilkinson Award for Stage Design 2019)
Lighting Designer Aideen Malone
Composer Zoe Rahman
Physical Comedy Consultant Jos Houben 
Song Arrangement Sophie Cotton
Dance Choreography Nuna Sandy for ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company
Video Designer Dom Baker
Assistant Director Andrea Cabrera Luna 
From an idea by Irene Cotton 
With additional material from the company


Sara Alexander
Nick Haverson
Jerone Marsh-Reid
Amalia Vitale 


Production Manager (for Told by an Idiot) Hannah Blamire 
Technical Stage Manager Sophie Tetlow 
Deputy Stage Manager Leona Nally 
ASM (rehearsal and Theatre Royal Plymouth) Rachel Middlemore 
Wardrobe ASM (tour) Sophie Fuller

PR by Nancy Poole PR (07957342850 [email protected])

The Naomi Wilkinson Award for Stage Design is kindly supported by the Charles Mason and Naomi Wilkinson Foundation


Take a look at the programme here

Read The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel rehearsal blog here 


Tour Dates


14 - 30 November  Theatre Royal Plymouth



The events in this play are fictional. This play is certainly not endorsed by the estates of Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel or anyone else for that matter!