Charlie Chaplin worked with Fred Karno of the ‘The Karno comedy Company’ who toured music halls in the late 19th and early 20th century. It was this company who visited the Cork Palace of Varieties as the ‘Everyman’ was called at that time.
In 1908 Sydney Chaplin had become a star of Fred Karno’s prestigious comedy company. In February of that year he got a two week trial for his younger brother ‘Charlie’.
The teenager made an impact on his first night at the ‘London Coliseum’, winning more laughs in his small role than the star, and was quickly signed to a contract.
In April 1910 he was given his first lead role in a new sketch ‘Jimmy the Fearless’ or ‘The Boy Ero’. It was a great success and Chaplin received considerable press attention. Fred Karno signed Chaplin to a new contract and the young comedian headed the show being described by American reviewers as ‘one of the best pantomime artists ever seen here’. The tour lasted 21 months which also
included Stan Laural of later Laurel and Hardy fame – returned to England and Ireland in 1912.