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RIP Mike Hope

It was deep regret that we hear of the passing of our Brother Rat Mike Hope who passed Friday 12th April.

Mike Hope and Albie Keen were a British comedy double act. Cousins, the sons of British variety comedians Syd and Max Harrison, they first formed their act in 1956.

In 1971 they were engaged for the West End show Meet Me In London at the Adelphi Theatre. This was a ten-week ‘fill-in’- put on by impresario Harold Fielding after Charlie Girl closed at short notice and he was getting together a production of Show Boat.

Hope and Keen had a spot in the first half. When the other star of this part of the show Clodagh Rogers walked out fifteen minutes before curtain-up on the first night after one of her numbers was cut they filled in for her for several nights before another singer (Susan Maughan) came in. They received positive reviews from the critics in this run as they not only demonstrated a gift for comedy, but also played several instruments between them and their flair for gymnastics. Physical comedy became the mainstay of their act and a very impressive sword-dueling sequence became a signature skit in the act. They even had offers to be hired as stuntmen.

Both are members of the Grand Order of Water Rats. In 1979 they served as joint captains of the Variety Club of Great Britain's Golfing Society.

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