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One man show tells the story of a comedy legend in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 11:19 21 June 2016

Wisdom of a Fool is written and performed by Jack Lane.

Wisdom of a Fool is written and performed by Jack Lane.

Archant

A play which tells the story of much-loved comedy icon Norman Wisdom is set to hit the Marina stage.

Wisdom of a Fool is written and performed by 28-year-old Jack Lane.

His one-man play takes the audience on an emotional journey about Mr Wisdom’s well-known character, beginning with his tough early childhood years.

It also encapsulates his infamous slapstick routines and his rise to fame in the 1950s and 1960s, where he was once praised by Charlie Chaplin as his “favourite clown”.

Turning professional at 31, Mr Wisdom found West End fame and went on to make 19 hit films that are still loved by millions – even in such unexpected places as Albania and Iran.

The show will be performed at 7.30pm on Thursday, June 23.

Recently Mr Lane, who lives in Sussex, paid a visit to the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft.

After meeting staff and looking round the venue, he was then shown a signed photograph and programme from Mr Wisdom himself – who once performed at the venue, believed to be in the late 1980s.

“The venue has such a lovely feel and everyone at the Marina has been so sweet and really looking forward to my show,” Mr Lane said.

“It is amazing to know Norman also played here at this beautiful theatre, which will make it really emotional for me – I can’t ask for more. My show will be something different for the people of Lowestoft to see – it is an emotional rollercoaster for me to play and I hope people really get behind it.”

Throughout the performance, Mr Lane – who has performed with the National Theatre and founded the Engine Shed Theatre Company in 2010 – portrays 30 different characters, including Mr Wisdom’s mother and father.

It took him about a year to write his debut play, which has taken extensive research through books, interviews, and people who personally worked with Mr Wisdom.

Remarkably, the show also sees Mr Lane wear one of Mr Wisdom’s original “Gump” suits – a treasured heirloom loaned by the comic’s family.

“I have to be careful as I am taking on the career of an icon who many people love,” Mr Lane added.

“I grew up with comedy and films and the back story of Norman always fascinated me. When he passed away in 2010, I thought ‘I need to put this on stage’. From where he came from to what he achieved was phenomenal – he was totally unique.

“The show takes you through all of that and from the moment it starts, it is just non stop – one minute the audience are crying and the next they are laughing.”

Tickets cost £18 or £17 for concessions. Call 01502 533200 or visit www.marinatheatre.co.uk

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