Fawlty Towers West End - Playbill
Britcom Fawlty Towers Is Headed to London’s West End
Series star and creator John Cleese has penned the stage adaptation.
British sitcom Fawlty Towers is getting the stage treatment with a new stage play penned by series creator, writer, and star John Cleese that will debut in London’s West End later this year. Fawlty Towers – The Play will perform at the Apollo Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue beginning May 4, with opening night set for May 15.
The two-hour play is based on three of the 1975 series’ episodes, “The Hotel Inspector,” “The Germans,” and “Communication Problems,” each originally written by Cleese and fellow series creator and star Connie Booth.
The series was based on real-life hotel owner Donald Sinclair, whose rude behavior inspired Cleese after a stay at Sinclair’s Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay. Sinclair became Basil Fawlty, played by Cleese, in the sitcom that would go on to win two BAFTAs. Over two seasons, the project released 12 half-hour episodes.
Adam Jackson-Smith will take on Basil for the stage run, joined by Anna-Jane Casey as Sybil, Hemi Yeroham as Manuel, Victoria Fox as Polly, Paul Nicholas as The Major, Rachel Izen as Mrs. Richards, Steven Meo as Mr. Hutchinson and German Guest, Kate Russell-Smith as Miss Tibbs, Nicola Sanderson as Miss Gatsby, Greg Haiste as Mr. Thurston and German Guest, Danny Bayne as Mr. Walt and Dr. Finn, Neil Stuard as Taxi Driver, Mr. Firkins, Mr. Kerr, and Mr. Sharp, and Emma Fenney as German Guest. Mia Austen, John Hasler, and Dale Superville will be hotel guests, with Ben Jacobson and Suzy Bloom rounding out the company. Casting is by Anne Vosser.
Caroline Jay Ranger is directing, leading a creative team that also includes set and costume designer Liz Ascroft and lighting designer Ian Scott.
“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,” says Cleese in a statement. “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 favorite 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…”
Cleese formerly wrote and performed in Cambridge Circus on Broadway and was in the original Broadway company of Half a Sixpence. He’s also a co-writer and star of Spamalot’s screen source material, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Ticket sales will begin February 7 at 10 AM BT. Visit FawltyTowersWestEnd.com.
LOGAN CULWELL-BLOCK FEBRUARY 02, 2024