PREVIEW: Neil Brand returns to Scotland with his new show – Laurel and Hardy


SCOTTISH composer Neil Brand is due to return to the country this month with a brand new show about comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.

The writer, broadcaster and musician will perform himself in the show dedicated to the entertainers recently portrayed in the hit film ‘Stan and Ollie’.

The show will appear at Dundee Contemporary Arts on June 14 before stopping off at the Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness the following day.

Neil will be helping to tell the story of the comedians from their earliest days on opposite sides of the Atlantic in Music Hall, to their individual comedy films before they were paired up by Hal Roach, and on to their silent masterpieces before the arrival of sound.

The show is fully illustrated with stills and clips of Stan and Ollie in their own first solo films and some of their funniest gags. The clips will contain moments with sound and some in silent, culminating with Neil providing his superlative piano accompaniment to two of the duo’s best silent short films.

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The show follows on from Neil’s critically acclaimed show on Buster Keaton and introduces audiences to the performers behind the magic of 90 years ago which still has fans in stitches today.

Alison Strauss, Director of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival said: “Neil Brand is such a brilliant ambassador for cinema before the Talkies – winning converts and new fans for this often over-looked period of cinema, wherever he performs.

“He not only has an extraordinary gift of improvising on piano for silent film but he is an entertaining storyteller, full of wonderful anecdotes and insights into his heroes: the early giants of film comedy like Buster Keaton and of course Laurel and Hardy.”

Speaking himself, Neil said: “This show promises gales of laughter throughout, as well as getting under the skin of two warm, funny men who continue to make the world laugh when it needs it most.”

Neil Brand presents Laurel and Hardy will appear at Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee on Friday 14 June at 6pm and then the Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness on Sat 15 June at 2.15pm.

For tickets, call the Box Office on 01324 506850.

An extra show will play at Eden Court during the Inverness Film Festival on Sunday 10 November.