It was my pleasure to attend the Silent Comedy Weekend at the Kennington Bioscope on 22nd October; unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances I was only able to see the Laurel & Hardy part of the programme but can report that it was excellent. The presentation comprised two prints from the Robert Youngson collection, 'The Second 100 Years' and 'Putting Pants on Phillip', as well as seven minutes of the recovered Stan Laurel short 'Monsieur Don't Care' and the Jimmy Aubrey / Oliver Hardy short 'Maids and Muslin'.
The highlight for me were the two prints from the Youngson collection - as these prints came straight off of the original 35mm negs the quality was excellent, with all of the original titles and inter titles and with no cuts due to deterioration, which meant they are by far the cleanest copies I have ever seen. I believe that they - along with other prints from the Youngson collection - are going to be restored and will hopefully see a commercial release.
The seven minutes footage of 'Monsieur Don't Care' was shown more as a curio - interesting but not particularly funny. This was an Italian print but fortunately there was an interpreter who provided an English voice over.
Last up was an almost complete version of 'Maids and Muslin', and although I'm not personally a fan of Jimmy Aubrey it is always interesting to see Oliver Hardy in a typical role as a 'heavy', and I feel he stole the show (as he seemed to do in all of the other series where he performed a similar role for Billy Ruge, Billy West and Larry Semon - just a personal opinion, others may well disagree).
Between all of the presentations Glen Mitchell and Dave Wyatt provided an excellent narrative as to the history of these prints.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable event (I wish I could have stayed for the rest).
Hope this is of interest.
Interact with your favorite SCM authors, producers, directors, historians, archivists and silent comedy savants. Or just read along. Whatever.
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