x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

No funny business please, this was Charlie's house

The Life: Charlie Chaplin's boyhood home in London is on the market. Tramps need not apply.

The boyhood home of Charlie Chaplin, the beloved "Little Tramp", is for sale.

The ground-breaking silent film star lived in the two-bedroom home in the south London neighbourhood of Kennington for one year. But the house on Methley Street played a pivotal role in Chaplin's rags to richest tale.

The house was next to a slaughterhouse and pickle factory when Chaplin lived there in 1898, aged nine. It was one of the few periods when Chaplin lived with his mother, Hannah, a singer and actress who spent much of her life in asylums.

He started developing the character of The Kid and the sense of tragedy that infused his later work while living in the house, according to Chaplin lore.

In his autobiography, Chaplin wrote of watching workers chase a lamb destined for slaughter.

"I wonder if that episode did not establish the premise of my future films - the combination of the tragic and the comic," Chaplin wrote.

He went on to become one of the most important - and often controversial - figures in the fledgling movie industry. His work defined the silent film era, bringing a new level of pathos and comedy to the medium, while establishing himself as the industry's most powerful artist.

The three-storey brick-fronted house is priced at £650,000 (Dh3.8 million). It includes a reception area, a dining room and patio garden, in a cosy 80 square metres, according to the listing.

A blue plaque on the front wall commemorates the legendary comedian's stay, which gives the house a certain amount of historical cachet. The house is also part of tours commemorating Chaplin's legacy.

And the neighbourhood is definitely working the Chaplin angle. A nearby building that was a pickle factory during his time has been converted into an apartment named City Lights Court, in honour of his famous filmCity Lights.

The Quote: A day without laughter is a day wasted. Charlie Chaplin, the first fun man of Hollywood

kbrass@thenational.ae