Naturally Insane! The Life of Dan Leno
Christyplays/Heritage Theatre Production
Sun 26 Apr
at Theatre Royal
Naturally Insane! The Life of Dan Leno is set in Camberwell Asylum in the last weeks of Dan Leno’s life. As we join him in his private room we meet his wife Lydia and his brother Henry as he reflects on his life and career. He is visited by Herbert Beerbohm Tree to discuss Shakespeare while his Nurse, and physician Doctor Savage, try to make sense of Dan and his condition. It is in turns sad, funny and poignant and will make you laugh out loud with music hall songs instantly recognisable. A joyful and tragic insight into the life of a legendary comedian.
Dan Leno was the superstar of the Victorian music-halls and the annual pantomimes at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London’s West End. He died tragically young at only 43 in 1904 but his legacy lives on to this day. He inspired people like Stan Laurel, Charlie Chaplin and his influence and style was picked up by the likes of Norman Evans and Les Dawson and ripples through to the present day with comedian Peter Kay.
Steve Royle stars as Dan Leno and we are delighted that Roy Hudd OBE is joining us, to guest star in the cameo role of Herbert Beerbohm Tree, and declared it to be “a play that captures the heart and soul and genius of our greatest Victorian comedian…” After the performance, there will be a short interval and then Roy, who is president of the British Music Hall Society will give a talk about Dan Leno and his legacy.
Run Time: 2hrs 30mins (inc. 2 intervals)
Age Guidance: 12+
Steve Royle has funny bones and this unique, heartfelt production allows us to see both Steve’s magnificent talent and Dan Leno’sPeter Kay
A supreme performance by Steve Royle…Lancashire Evening Post
There is tragedy and there is comedy but in drama when the two melt together like twilight into evening, then you know you are witnessing something very special…Entertainment Then and Now
He fully inhabits the role and simply is Dan LenoJulian Wilde, Evening Gazette