2024 UK Convention fully booked!
We had an incredible response for bookings for the Birmingham 2024 Convention. In fact it is already fully booked!
Thank you to everyone who supported our bid, and to everyone who booked so quickly. We have started a waiting list for anyone else who wants to come along. If you want to be added to the waiting list please contact John Ullah on:
B.S. To all those who have booked a place, we will be in touch very soon to confirm your booking and provide full bank details
Voodoo was yet again absent from our UK Convention, which prompted a few questions regarding his health. Fellow member of The Flying Deuces Tent, Kevin Mulligan, sent us an update (thanks to enquiries from Roger Robinson and Bill Oates).
Kevin says, “Voodoo is still battling health issues which requires ongoing dialysis, but is improving from his surgery. Here’s a shot of him, along with some other Flying Deuces at the recent Two Tars Tent of Philadelphia Banquet.”
We send hearty good wishes to Voodoo.
Voodoo is on the left
The SonDayz event planned for September in Bergen op Zoom has been cancelled. It has been reported that numbers of attendees booked were disappointing.
At last, I can reveal this HUGE news for Laurel and Hardy fans. The films from "The Lucky Dog" through "The Battle of the Century" (excepting the missing "Hats Off") have received some STUNNING restorations by Lobster Films for a new (ALL REGION!) Blu-ray. You will be astonished, as I was, looking at the Pathe pictures, which heretofore we (or at least I) have seen only in grainy, blurry dupes, now in beautiful clear, crisp 35mm prints. Every Sons of the Desert tent NEEDS to acquire this, as these early films are suddenly much more watchable, and much funnier, since we don't have to struggle to see what's happening. Pre-order this now - it is an absolutely essential set.
Randy Skretvedt on Facebook
There will most likely be a second volume next year. Randy says that "Now I'll Tell One" will probably be on that, from a sharp BFI print. There will be new music for each film, with a few early talkie-era releases from another country (not UK).
See our page 1927 silents restored
Laurel and Hardy on Angel Radio
On Friday 21st April, at 9.30am, Dave de Kort (of Glasgow's Call of the Cuckoos Tent) had a terrific hour-long show about Laurel and Hardy on Angel Radio. Well done, Dave.
Beau Chumps Tent special
I'm very happy to announce that the Chumps will be hosting a big screen Laurel and Hardy event at the beautiful Forum Theatre in nearby Hexham on a Saturday early evening in the summer. Huge thanks to the diligence of fellow Chump Jon in setting this up.
Planning is at an early stage, but you can trust me insipidly to share full details as soon as we 'get organised'! The cinema staff are very excited about this and I'm sure we will benefit from their enthusiasm in putting on a splendid event. The intimate auditorium seats 189 and it would be brilliant if we can get a good showing to add to those of the 'Friends of the Forum' to fill the place. Carlisle's Them Thar Hills Tent have already confirmed they will attend and, of course, all will be very welcome. If you'd like to know more about this independent theatre, click here: https://forumhexham.com and watch this space.
The Music Box artwork
COMING SOON... work in progress: THE MUSIC BOX. Forward orders for prints now being taken.
The original artwork is also for sale.
I’m reading a biography of the life and films of Will Hay. In it there is mention of a film Hay did with Edgar Kennedy, Hey Hey, USA (1938).
The film was an attempt to raise Will Hay's profile in America, and an excuse for him to break away from the fear of being typecast as just part of a threesome, following the success of his films with Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt.
On page 244 it mentions that Edgar Kennedy was paid to travel to the UK, where he spent some time with his old friend Charlie Hall, who was back in Birmingham visiting relatives. It gives details of Charlie's appearances in Laurel and Hardy's films.
Edgar Kennedy arranged for Charlie to play the part of “Lefty,” one of Kennedy's gangster pals, in Hey Hey, USA.
Kennedy and Will Hay got on famously, sharing a common interest in boxing. The book mentions that Kennedy had fought as a professional light heavyweight, and had even gone 14 rounds with famous world champion Jack Dempsey.
... and finally