Just as two new Carry On films are announced, twenty-five years after the last one was made, Oh, Hello!, a moving, affectionate, hilarious and intimate portrayal of Charles Hawtrey, one of Britain’s most recognisable comic actors, is coming to The Park & Dare on Wednesday 14 September.
Charles Hawtrey was one of the leading lights of the Carry On film franchise, bubbly, energetic and extremely funny Hawtrey was one of the most instantly recognisable comedy actors of his era, but as his career waned so his behaviour became more drunken, promiscuous and eccentric.
See Welsh actor Jamie Rees as Charles Hawtrey in this one-man show as he regales stories of 50 years in the film industry working with the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and starring in films including The Ghost of St Michael’s, Passport to Pimlico and many, many Carry On films.
Jamie Rees says:
“There’s no doubting Charles Hawtrey could be an extremely difficult man, especially when he was drunk, but when he was sober and on the top of his game he was funny, intelligent and a very good actor with an infectious personality.”
Hawtrey made over 100 film and TV performances in his career, a great many more than most of his Carry On film colleagues. This was a fact of which he obsessed and his status in the Carry On films was a huge concern for him, which led him to eventually fall out with the Carry On producers and anyone associated with the franchise. But while his spats with Kenneth Williams are well known, his true nemesis in life was that of the bottle.
“Hawtrey was a gay alcoholic through the 1950s, 60s and 70s. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for him. Homosexuality was actually against the law for much of his life so it must have been horribly challenging being such a colourful character. Today he would most probably have gone into rehab and come out the other side lauded for his bravery… this was not the case in his era”.
Written by Dave Ainsworth and directed by Peter Doran, this intimate and touching play will be performed at the Park & Dare Treorchy on Wednesday 14 September. Tickets are available now from the Box Office on 08000 147 111 or online here.