Follow Us on Twitter

Chaplin: Birth of a Tramp - Jack Studio Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ARROWS & Traps Theatre are presenting Chaplin: Birth of a Tramp at the Jack Studio Theatre from Tuesday, February 4 to Saturday, February 22, 2020.

What a sad business, being funnyLimelight (1952)

For over 100 years, Charlie Chaplin has been the world’s best-loved clown. His brilliant comic creation of “The Little Tramp” is the first and most recognisable cinematic icon in history. But his remarkable story of stardom and success has a darker side.

Raised in the horrific, grinding poverty of a Victorian slum, Charlie never knew the security of a stable family. Whilst his parents destroyed themselves with disastrous ambition and unshakeable vice, Charlie was thrown at the mercy of the workhouse. Desperate to escape his feral existence on the streets of South London, Charlie became captivated by the shining lights of music hall, and gradually began to see a way out.

Critically-acclaimed Arrows & Traps return with an examination of the relationship between experience and creativity, and invite you to discover how Chaplin spun personal tragedy into universal comedy, in a psychological exploration of one of the world’s most remarkable lives.

Chaplin: Birth of a Tramp is written and directed by Ross McGregor, Artistic Director of Arrows & Traps Theatre. He directed their productions of Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale (Lion & Unicorn), The Taming Of The Shrew, Titus Andronicus, Macbeth (New Wimbledon Studio), Jekyll & Hyde, One Giant Leap, Gentleman Jack, Taro, Dracula, The White Rose, Three Sisters, Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, The Gospel According to Philip, Frankenstein (Jack Studio), and Twelfth Night and Othello (Upstairs At The Gatehouse).

The cast includes Clare Aster (as Hannah Chaplin), Benjamin Garrison (Charles Chaplin Sr.), Lucy Ioannou (The Tramp), Laurel Marks (Virginia Cherrill), Conor Moss (Charlie Chaplin) and Toby Wynn-Davies (Sydney Chaplin).

Produced by Chris Tester, Chaplin: Birth of a Tramp is designed by Charlotte Cooke, with musical direction by Richard Baker, lighting design by Gabriel Finn, movement direction by Stephen Sobal and sound design by Alistair Lax.

Chaplin: Birth of a Tramp is suitable for ages 10+.

Tickets: £16, £13 concessions. To book, call the box office on 0333 666 3366 (£1.50 fee for phone bookings only) or visit

Time: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm.

Also at the Jack Studio Theatre: Derek Webb’s adaptation of HG Wells’ The Invisible Man (until January 4) and Yard Players’ production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (January 14 to February 1, 2020).