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Wisdom of a Fool

  • LOST Theatre 208 Wandsworth Road London, England, SW8 2JU United Kingdom (map)

MAR 8 - MAR 11

Wednesday – Saturday, 7.30pm (matinee 3pm on Saturday), 90 mins



Norman Wisdom dominated British film and theatre during the 1950s, playing to packed audiences across the country. For more than six decades Norman’s warmth and boundless energy won the hearts of millions. His cloth cap, ill-fitting suit and classic underdog character led Charlie Chaplin to describe him as his ‘favourite clown’. Norman Wisdom now returns to the stage in Jack Lane’s acclaimed emotional roller-coaster one-man play, now on UK tour in 2016-7.

In Wisdom of a Fool, Jack Lane takes you behind Norman Wisdom’s well-known character to reveal a tough and lonely childhood. After joining the Army, Wisdom discovers a passion for comedy; and the world of post-war Music Hall and Variety embraces Norman’s manic slapstick routine, catapulting him to stardom in the early 1950s. Success on the silver screen, including the hit song, ‘Don’t Laugh at Me’, seals his fame. But fame comes at a price… Jack plays 30 characters throughout this tour de force performance. The Gump costume that features in the play belonged to Norman and has been generously loaned to the production by his son and daughter, Nicholas and Jacqueline Wisdom.

LOST Theatre are also proud to present, with the BFI, a long-thought “lost” episode of Norman Wisdom’s variety show before the Saturday matinee of Wisdom of a Fool, introduced by Richard Dacre and followed by a Q and A with Dacre and Jack Lane.

In 2010, Jack Lane founded Engine Shed Theatre Company and went on to adapt three episodes and two Christmas specials of the classic BBC sitcom Steptoe and Son, which met with approval from the original writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. Jack took the role of Albert Steptoe whilst producing and designing the productions.


★★★★★ “an incredible performance from this super talented man who you really believe is Wisdom” Leicester Mercury

“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” British Theatre Guide


Earlier Event: March 7
Later Event: March 14
The Significant Other Festival