Basil Fawlty, otherwise known as John Cleese, himself will be bringing a stage adaptation of Fawlty Towers to life on the West End stage in May.
Despite only having two seasons and a total of 12 episodes, Fawlty Towers is widely regarded as the greatest-ever British sitcom. Coming in first on the list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000 and ranking the best British sitcom by a panel of comedy experts compiled by the Radio Times in 2019.
The popularity of the show has endured since its release in the 1980s, with audiences taking to the hilarity in the expressions of “infantile rage and aggression” in a “well-mannered English society”, so says co-writer Connie Booth. In recent years, this popularity may have dipped or taken the sidelines but the stage adaption may be sure to give a resurgence to its adoration.
John Cleese explained, “I’ve adapted three of my favourite episodes for the stage and written one huge finale, which will bring together the endings of all three episodes. So here we are, all the way from Torquay, via the old BBC Television Centre, to the West End! I do hope some of you will come to the Apollo to laugh together.”
What do we know so far about the production?
The stage production will be adaptations of three episodes from the show; ‘The Hotel Inspector’, ‘The Germans’ and ‘Communication Problems’, combining these episodes to create a single narrative. It is set to premiere at Shaftesbury Avenue’s Apollo Theatre on May 4. A run of the show was staged in Australia all the way back in 2016 but this production will be the first time it officially hits the West End.
Who is involved in the production?
The names involved in the adaptation include Caroline Jay Ranger, previously of Only Fools and Horses: The Musical and Monty Python Live, as director, cast-wise Adam Jackson-Smith will be taking on the leading role as despotic hotelier Basil Fawlty, Anna-Jane Casey as his wife Sybil, Hemi Yeroham as hapless Spanish waiter Manuel and Victoria Fox as Polly, the chambermaid.
When do tickets go on sale?
Tickets for the show go on sale on February 7 at 10am. Head to the production’s official website here to find out more.