Nic Wright

Tyneside tribute to Stan Laurel

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A hotel on Tyneside is to mark the 50th anniversary of Stan Laurel’s death with a special event.

On 23 February 2015, The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth will host a talk, excerpts from a play and screenings of two of Laurel’s best loved films.

Organised by North Tyneside Council, Whitley Bay Film Festival and Cullercoats theatre company Cloud Nine, the day will feature a lecture by Danny Lawrence, author of The Making of Stan Laurel: Echoes of a British Boyhood.

Lawrence will be discussing Laurel’s formative years in North Tyneside, and how the area influenced some of his most famous works.

Cloud Nine will also perform an portion of late North Shields playwright Tom Hadaway’s unfinished production Laurel and Hardy in Tynemouth. The play is currently being completed by Hadaway’s daughter Pauline, with the aim to stage it in full later in the year.

Rounding off the day will be a screening of The Music Box and Towed in a Hole, presented by Whitley Bay Film Festival.

Laurel moved to North Shields in 1895, at the age of 5, where his father managed local theatres. The family remained in the area for ten years.

Along with his comedy partner Oliver Hardy, Laurel first stayed at the Grand Hotel in 1932. The pair returned in 1947, and finally in 1952, while appearing at Newcastle Empire Theatre. The hotel now has an annex named after Laurel.

Stan Laurel Tribute Day, The Grand Hotel, Tynemouth, 23 February 2015, £15. Tickets are on sale from Friday 23 January via North Tyneside Council,  White Swan Customer First Centres, Cloud Nine Productions and Whitley Bay Film Festival.