John Cleese’s Fawlty Towers is to premiere on the West End stage at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue in 2024.
Beloved British comedy Fawlty Towers is headed to London’s West End fifty years after the comedy was first recorded at the BBC in 1974.
Fawlty Towers the play has been adapted by John Cleese and will start previews from 4 May at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London.
Cleese, who co-wrote the original TV series with Connie Booth and starred as the inimitable Basil Fawlty, has written a two-hour play based on three of the original TV episodes – ‘The Hotel Inspector’ and ‘The Germans’ from series one and ‘Communication Problems’ from series two.
John Cleese says: “What a thrill to be bringing Fawlty Towers to the West End for the first time – nearly 50 years since the show was first recorded, in December 1974. We’ve been involved in the casting process for some time, being constantly reminded of what a wealth of acting talent we have in Britain – sorting the very, very, very good from the merely very, very good. Finally, we assembled a top-class group of comedy actors who will bring the show to the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. 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. And laugh. And laugh………”
Directed by Caroline Jay Ranger (Only Fools and Horses The Musical & Monty Python Live), John Cleese’s Fawlty Towers will bring many of the beloved sitcom characters to life on stage for an unmissable evening of hilarity: Basil played by Adam Jackson-Smith; Sybil played by Anna-Jane Casey; Manuel played by Hemi Yeroham; Polly played by Victoria Fox; The Major played by Paul Nicholas; Mrs Richards played by Rachel Izen; Mr Hutchinson/German guest played by Steven Meo; Miss Tibbs played by Kate Russell-Smith; Miss Gatsby played by Nicola Sanderson; Mr Thurston/German guest played by Greg Haiste; Mr Walt / Dr Finn played by Danny Bayne; Taxi Driver/ Mr Firkins / Mr Kerr / Mr Sharp played by Neil Stuart, German guest played by Emma Fenney and Hotel Guests: Mia Austen, John Hasler, Dale Superville. Completing our company of players are Ben Jacobson and Suzy Bloom.
Fawlty Towers was first broadcast on BBC Two on 19 September 1975. The iconic TV show went on to win many awards and plaudits including two BAFTAS for Best Situation Comedy and in 2000 it was voted the best British programme of all time in a British Film Institute poll. Set in a fictional hotel in the seaside town of Torquay, just 12 half hour episodes of the iconic comedy were made.
The sitcom is based on a real-life hotel owner, Donald Sinclair. John Cleese came up with the idea for the character of Basil Fawlty when he stayed at Sinclair’s Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay and became fascinated with his incredibly rude behaviour.
FAWLTY TOWERS CREATIVE TEAM
Written by John Cleese & Connie Both
Adapted for the stage by John Cleese|
Directed by Caroline Jay Ranger
Set & Costume Designer – Liz Ascroft
Lighting Designer – Ian Scott
Casting Director – Anne Vosser
Assistant Director – Denise Ranger
Resident Director – Chris Kiely