Review: The Chaplin Story

Harlow Playhouse / Sun 24th Jul 2016 am31 10:38am

SOMEWHERE, deep within this performance was a good play trying to break out. But on a warm evening at the Harlow Playhouse, Chaplin, starring former Coronation Street favourite, Steven Arnold, never really got going.

It is probably the type of musical that would benefit from seeing again but for now it looks like it was a one time visit.

The musical charts the life of Chaplin from poverty in London to his first successful years in Hollywood.

It takes a bit of figuring out that the kid wandering about in the stage is a very young Chaplin and that said kid would be the inspiration for “The Kid”.

You could tell that the audience came for Chaplin but as good as the performance by Bryan Hodgson was, it left one of the great actors of the twentieth century almost as a supporting actor in his own musical.

We could not fault a single performance especially Rachel Wood as Hannah Chaplin but we left the theatre feeling that this was a lost opportunity.

Many of the characters were fully rounded from Mabel Desmond to Fred Karnow.

Thi has been on a national tour so it would be investing to see how it has gown down elsewhere. You just wondered if it falls between a few stools. However, it is part of a packed and varied programme at the Harlow Playhouse which has to be applauded.

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