Way Out West is a new play combining comedy with melancholy and ending with dance. - all inspired by Laurel and Hardy.
The show is at the Nightingale Theatre, Brighton from January 24-28 before embarking on a national tour.
Written by Paul Hodson (writer of Meeting Joe Strummer), Way Out West is a meditation on loneliness and grief but at first glance it could just be a funny play fuelled by beer and coincidence, says producer Jackie Alexander.
“Two men walk into a pub... and then it stops being normal.
“Two strangers meet in a busy bar. Peter is convinced that he has met Simon somewhere before; Simon totally denies it. Pints are drunk; conversation covers the creation of the universe, the meaning of happiness, the chemical construction of pork scratchings and how they seem to know more about each other than complete strangers could, or should. And they both seem to recollect dreams in which they met Laurel and Hardy and each other.
“As the alcohol kicks in, Simon and Peter find themselves lurching towards an unnerving philosophical and spiritual world, where it becomes a distinct possibility that they are Laurel and Hardy reincarnated...
“But that’s simply laughable, absurd and beyond comprehension isn’t it?
“The evening gets messy. Simon and Peter veer from displays of extreme vulnerability and love, to antagonism and on towards the brink of violence. Last orders are called, the two square up, vowing never to lay eyes on each other ever again, then the strains of Commencement to Dancing from Way Out West are heard. The fuming, angry lads are transformed, performing a hilarious, gentle dance, just as Laurel and Hardy would have done.”