...and this is my friend Mr. Laurel
Almost 7 years ago now Jeff fulfilled a long-time ambition when he trod the boards as one of the worlds best loved comedy stars, Stan Laurel. He portrayed his idol in a new one-man play ‘….And this is my friend Mr Laurel’ co-written by the award-winning playwright Gail Louw and Jeff himself. The play debuted on Wednesday 21st August, at Upstairs At The Gatehouse and running until Sunday 25th August. The production then played at The Tabard Theatre in October. Such has been the response that Jeff is now touring the country with this amazing piece of theatre.
Set in Oliver Hardy’s bedroom, the action takes place as Laurel pays a visit to his sick friend, recounting their past success as one of the greatest cinematic partnerships of the century and providing an in depth, humorous and touching account of the comedian’s life.... more
Jeff was to return to the London Stage in 1983 when he appeared as Spike Dixon in the musical version of Hi de Hi. Once again proving a huge success, the show enjoyed a lengthy extension to it's run from Christmas until May during which time Michael Knowles, formally of It Ain't Half Hot Mum, took over the role of Jeffrey Fairbrother.
Jeff's West End debut came in 1975 when at the tender age of 29 he joined the ranks in the stage musical version of Dad's Army at the Shaftsbury Theatre, cast as a fireman in the chorus. In addition Jeff also covered the roles of Private's Pike and Walker for the six month run, returning to the show for the Christmas period before touring nationally for a further 6 months as Private Walker in his own right. It was to be one of the proudest and happiest times of Jeff's career whose long lasting memory of the first night is the emotion he felt standing on stage with all but one of the original cast as the curtain rose. There is no doubt, this show paved the way for further Croft and Perry shows.