From dinosaurs to classic comedy

Laurel and Hardy - 'Sons of the Desert'
Laurel and Hardy - 'Sons of the Desert'

By Paul McCabe

What with the weather being foul last Saturday we decided, along with, it seems, 99 per cent of the entire population of the planet, to go and see ‘Jurassic World’.

I enjoyed it but, quite frankly, there are no great surprises.

If you’ve seen any of the other ones, you know what to expect.

After that, there was a quick change at home then I was off out again to see the frankly marvellous Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain at the Adam Smith Theatre.

It was the second time I’d seen them and they were every bit as entertaining, funny and ridiculously talented as before.

A particular highlight for me was the theme from ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ which has to be seen to be believed, and I took a perverse pleasure in wondering what the older members of the audience would make of their cover of ‘Psycho Killer’ by Talking Heads.

Also, it was great to see the theatre virtually sold out.

I had to look lively to get my hands on tickets for another event this week too.

Tuesday marked 125 years since Stan Laurel was born and, to celebrate, the Vue in Edinburgh was showing a Laurel and Hardy double bill.

Most pleasingly, some members of the audience had even dressed up for the occasion and the two films, ‘County Hospital’ and ‘Sons Of the Desert’, remain as brilliant as ever.

I have warm memories of watching the pair’s films on BBC2 in the early ‘80s.

Myself and my dad would be helpless with laughter.

Now, like most Scottish men, it takes an awful lot to make my dad even smile, so to see him bent double with tears rolling down his face is testament to Laurel and Hardy’s greatness.

Genius is an over-used word but, in their case, I’d argue richly deserved.