East Neuk Festival celebrates silent movie genius of Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy

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Silent movie musician, writer, composer and broadcaster Neil Brand is coming to Fife for one of the region’s top summer festivals.

He will bring his new silent movie comedy show Hole In One to East Neuk Festival which runs from June 26-30.

Brimming with golf-related high-jinks and featuring some of the finest comedy slapstick icons from the silent era, including immortal comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, master of deadpan Buster Keaton, and the man with the bamboo cane and a funny walk Charlie Chaplin - plus, there will be a short screening of an interview/film with Scottish singer and comedian Sir Harry Lauder, making this event the hot ticket for golf lovers and silent movie fans of all ages.

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Brand said "I hadn't realised until I began researching this show how much the silent clowns loved their golf - every possible drop of fun is squeezed from the game, from shots, caddies, spectators and newbies to irate wives, murderous players and the thrills and spills of the chase. Keaton, Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy do some of their best work on the links, and Sir Harry relaxes with a few shots in his Dunoon garden - truly civilised, and hilarious, entertainment!"

The films of Laurel and Hardy,  and Charlie Chaplin will screen at East Neuk Festival in Fife (Pics: Dr Macro)The films of Laurel and Hardy,  and Charlie Chaplin will screen at East Neuk Festival in Fife (Pics: Dr Macro)
The films of Laurel and Hardy, and Charlie Chaplin will screen at East Neuk Festival in Fife (Pics: Dr Macro)

Three films will be introduced and accompanied by Brand on piano.

Convict 13 (1920) starring Buster Keaton as a young golfer who is mugged by an escaped convict and finds himself mistakenly in jail about to be hanged, is packed with burly villains, endless gags and cop chases galore. Charlie Chaplin’s misadventures on a golf course in The Golf Links (1918) and the all-time classic Should Married Men Go Home? (1928) - a Hal Roach film featuring Ollie and Stan on a golf course, with a pair of young women, a mud-throwing battle, and endless antics, is comedy genius.

Over the last four decades, Brand has established himself and is acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost experts on the history of silent movies. As a composer, his credits include over a hundred original radio dramas, documentaries and feature series.

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Through his work with the BBC, Channel 4 and with radio, TV, films, musicals, and concert dramas, his music has been heard extensively and his live performances have been featured in over 30 countries.

Neil has composed the orchestral scores for the classic silent movies of Hitchcock, Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks among others, and has written twenty original radio plays, several radio series, and a long-running radio sitcom, The Big Broadcast.

He has also created five major television series covering the history of the music of the cinema, musicals, and TV and, as author and writer, he has, for the last 15 years, written the music and lyrics for Christmas shows for a number of children’s theatre productions in the UK.

Hole in One is just one event in this year’s East Neuk Festival programme of live music ranging from classical to jazz, experimental, traditional and contemporary. The festival celebrates the joy and power of live music and its potential to transform lives and life. In the past 20 years the festival has presented over 400 events and welcomed over 3,000 performers and 200,000 people to some of the most unique and intimate venues. Hole in One accompanied by Neil Brand (piano) is on Sunday 30th at 2.30pm at Earlsferry Town Hall, 19-21 High Street,Tickets £15 (1hr) with limited availability at www.eastneukfestival.com

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