A Letter from Stan, 1 & 2

We recorded a couple of minisodes (ugh! that WORD!) for The Shadowcast, relating to our recent Stan & Ollie megasode (deLIGHTful word), United We Fall.

Fiona discovered The Text featured, but to bring it to life we needed a Principle Boy, preferably one with an accent that might pass as similar to that of the young Arthur Stanley Jefferson. Since Stan moved about the UK a lot as a kid, and his eventual adult speech is a bit of a hybrid, we had a fairly loose remit, but opted to search around the area of his birthplace, Ulverston. Here, Naomi Bewsher of Stagecoach Performing Arts Schools, Carlisle and Cockermouth, was our benefactor. She eventually got five lads to record renditions of The Text, and we were supposed to choose one.

Well, we failed — Fiona was enamoured of Joe Campbell-Hillsley’s passionate rendition, whereas I leant towards Evan Low’s more measured delivery. So we compromised, and you get two minisodes for the price of none.

Music by Matt Wand and Marvin Hatley.

Here’s Joe:

And here’s Evan:

And here’s the original full-length megasode:

In strict fairness, I should admit to editing The Text slightly, including combining two drafts (both preserved for posterity by Stan’s dad). But all the words are by young Stan, and all the funny lines are authentic.

2 Responses to “A Letter from Stan, 1 & 2”

  1. bensondonald Says:

    I’m going to guess Mr. Jefferson kept both letters from the postbox out of something more than sentiment.

    McCabe did three L&H-related books I know of:
    — “Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy”, a joint biography, less ambitious and more personal than heavier tomes that came later.
    — “The Comedy World of Stan Laurel”, largely a vehicle for Stan’s reminisces and stories.
    — “Laurel and Hardy” (contributor with some other faithful), a film-by-film review with photos, credits, background and ratings (one-half to five derbies). Like those “Films of” books that were everywhere around 1970, but with more meat.

    In one, he reports that retired Stan happened on a copy of a sentimental play that had a brief Broadway run. Purely for his own amusement, he set about writing in his screen character as a stranger who wanders in and drives events along. I like to think that exists somewhere.

  2. It was The Comedy World Of… we referred to.

    I’d love to read Stan’s late writing or hear his voice recordings, but I suspect they weren’t preserved: surely some historian would have quoted them by now.

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