ENGINE SHED PRESENTS
WISDOM OF A FOOL
Star of 1950s British stage and screen, the legendary Norman Wisdom packed houses across the UK, won the hearts of millions and remains one of the UK’s comedy icons.
The world of post-war Music Hall and Variety embraced his trademark manic slapstick routine and catapulted him to stardom. Over the years he perfected an act that would go on to shape his unique style; his cloth cap, ill-fitting suit and classic underdog character leading Charlie Chaplin to describe him as his ‘favourite clown’.
Success on the silver screen including the hit song ‘Don’t Laugh at Me’ sealed his fame. But, as ever, fame came at a price… Portraying thirty characters in this tour de force performance, Jack Lane takes you on an emotional roller coaster, revealing the man –and the extraordinary talent – behind the Gump costume.
The Gump costume that features in the play belonged to Norman himself and has been generously loaned to the production by his son and daughter, Nicholas and Jacqueline Wisdom.
“Lane is simply unbelievable as Wisdom: he can do it all, the voice, the physicality and above all, the character.” – David Benson – Actor & Writer
“Lane’s performance is truly incredible as he explores the facets of Wisdom and it would take a heart of stone not to be moved by the way his experiences are portrayed.” – British Theatre Guide
“Jack Lane has written and performs this master class in which he does more than just get the voice and mannerisms of Norman Wisdom absolutely right, he gets the very essence of the man… whom I was privileged to know as a friend later in his life.” – Morris Bright – Chairman of Elstree Studios
“I believe through Wisdom of a Fool, Norman Wisdom will become familiar to a whole new generation.” – Theatre South East
“Jack Lane is mesmerising as Norman. If you can see this play, then DO. A hero brought back to life. His boundless energy and charm brings joy on joy on joy.” – Bob Golding – Actor (Morecambe play)
“Just spent a fabulous evening in The Little Theatre Leicester, watching Jack Lane be a brilliant Norman Wisdom. Spontaneous standing ovation. Bravo.” – Brenda Blethyn
Written and performed by Jack Lane
Additional material by Martyn Bell
Music and direction by Kenny Clayton
Produced by Mike Simmonds
Image Credit: Andy Hollingworth