Laurel & Hardy

Phoenix Stage Veteran takes on Magnificent Challenge

Dan James rose to the challenge of a lifetime recently when he completed the London Marathon in a time of 6 hours and 57 minutes. Dan, who has taken a lead role in the last 4 Rhodes pantomimes as well as playing the part of Stan Laurel on the recent Phoenix national tour of Laurel and Hardy ran the marathon to raise money for his chosen charity Help for Heroes. Friends and colleagues were slightly taken aback last year when Dan announced that he had entered the lottery for selection and been successful in obtaining a place in the worlds most famous street race – he is not known for his sporting credentials and can often be spotted outside a theatrical stage door with fag in mouth. However, he set about the task with a grim determination and surprised us all with a respectable time and was nowhere near the rear of the 36,000 strong crowd of runners. Dan was greeted at the finish line by Phoenix vice-principal Jeanne Stacey and administrator Jules Dale, who had spent the previous few hours nipping from point to point to cheer him on his way – even running with him for a short distance when things got difficult. Well done Dan – you’ve done yourself and Phoenix proud!

See Dan in Laurel & Hardy here

See Dan in Aladdin here

February 27, 2014

The Boys are Back!

by Conor O'Sullivan

in Professional Work

Laurel & Hardy travels over 2000 miles

Dan and Lee on Tour

Phoenix Theatre Arts touring production of Laurel and Hardy came to an end on Sunday 23rd February, with the final performance at the Pavilion Arts Centre in Buxton. This concluded a week long tour, with performances all across the nation from Inverness in Scotland to Horsham in Surrey, also taking in Newcastle, Swindon, Illfracombe and Tewkesbury along the way. In total, the tour travelled over 2000 miles to reach the seven theatres throughout the week. The production was first produced for the Rhodes last year, and after good audience reaction and feedback plans were put in place to create only the second national tour for Phoenix Theatre Arts following Spoonface Steinberg in 2009. Jeanne Stacey, Phoenix Vice Principal, directed the show, which starred Rhodes Panto favourite Daniel James as Stan Laurel and Lee Pace as Oliver Hardy.

Lucy, Lee and Rob set off with the set in a Luton van

Phoenix regular Rob Dyer designed the lighting and video segments for the show and accompanied the production on tour, as did Lucy Barker-Dale as technical manager of the touring show. The gruelling schedule meant late nights, long journeys and 6 nights in various Travelodges around the country. Audience feedback was excellent particularly in the more northern venues with the show playing to nearly 300 people in Whitley Bay Playhouse in Newcastle. The production will hopefully be the start of a regular touring programme for Phoenix with plans already in place to develop a version of Roald Dahl’s Georges Marvellous Medicine to tour in October. Further news will be announced as soon as available.

To see pictures from the tour, click here. To see production shots click here