Hawtrey is famous for his many appearances in the Carry On films and for his unique physicality and distinctive voice.
Like many performers of his generation Hawtrey's jolly persona hid more than a dark side. Said to be at his most relaxed when playing a woman, Hawtrey enjoyed the escape these opportunities offered him.
His overt sexuality, it has been argued, proved controversial in the conservative age within which he worked and although he was much loved by the public in his time, he ended his days on the Kent coast an ungracious, disillusioned drunk.
For the first time, Jiggery Pokery - A Homage to Charles Hawtrey will see Hawtrey’s compelling tale portrayed on stage using an actress, Amanda Lawrence (Kneehigh Theatre). With a resemblance to Hawtrey, Lawrence is sure to capture his unique spirit and the relationships that affected his life, in this intimate exploration of a true English eccentric.
Jiggery Pokery is being directed by Paul Hunter (Told by an Idiot, Young Vic and RSC), with script development by Bryony Lavery.
The production is part of Liverpool’s annual Homotopia queer festival, now in its sixth year, which has commissioned the production with London's Battersea Arts Centre and Newbury's The Corn Exchange.
Jiggery Pokery opens at the Unity Theatre on Wednesday 11 November and runs until Saturday 14 November. Tickets cost £6-£9.
Following its world premiere in Liverpool, the production will visit Bristol, Warwick and Newbury before arriving to Manchester’s Royal Exchange Studio for three nights. Jiggery Pokery – A Homage to Charles Hawtrey will then transfer to London’s Battersea Arts Centre for three weeks in December.