Comedy legends Laurel and Hardy are right back in the spotlight in Sunderland.
And that’s down to the revival of a society which was all the rage on Wearside nearly 30 years ago.
Fans are invited to a taster session of the Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Society which will be held tomorrow night at the Boar’s Head from 7.30pm.
But for those who can not get along, there’s plenty more opportunities as monthly meetings are lined up after that.
The plans for the Sunderland society come at an ideal time.
They have been revealed just days before the new movie Stan & Ollie hits the cinemas on January 11, starring Steve Coogan and John C Reilly.
In the 80s and early 90s, the Laurel and Hardy appreciation society had a strong presence in Sunderland and it has long been my intention to re-establish this.Mike Jones
It looks at the black and white movie duo’s tour of British variety halls in the 1950s.
Meanwhile back in Sunderland, Mike Jones is the man behind the scheme to revive Sunderland’s branch of the appreciation society and he explained more.
“In the 80s and early 90s, the Laurel and Hardy appreciation society had a strong presence in Sunderland and it has long been my intention to re-establish this.
“And as I am now essentially retired, I have the time to make this happen.”
Mike added: “In conjunction with the release of the new ‘Stan and Ollie’ film in cinemas, the Sunderland branch, or Tent, of the Sons of the Desert - the International Appreciation Society - is relaunching and will meet every second Tuesday of the Month at the Boars Head in High Street East in Sunderland.”
Mike also explained more about Stan and Laurel’s links to Wearside which stretch back more than 60 years.
“Stan and Ollie played the Sunderland Empire in both March 1952 and February 1954, visited with Stan’s old stage pal, Bennie Barron, at the Boars Head on several occasions and Stan of course has many connections with the North-East of England.”
Now comes the chance for interested people to meet like-minded fans and Mike added: “On Tuesday, January 8, we will be showing several Laurel and Hardy films including Way Out West and The Music Box, having a laugh at the Boys and generally having a good time. Nibbles will be served and all are welcome.”
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 12, also starting at 7.30pm, and Mike added: “We will be showing several Laurel and Hardy films including Sons of the Desert and Beau Chumps.”
Those wanting to find out more can visit the branch website at https://beauchumps.wordpress.com, or they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.