Creator and Co-Writer of the original television series, John Cleese has announced the key cast for the World Premiere Tour of Fawlty Towers – Live on Stage with Stephen Hall to play the role of Basil Fawlty and Blazey Best Co-Starring as Sybil Fawlty.
The original television series, was first broadcast on BBC Two in the UK in 1975 and is based on a real life hotel owner. John Cleese came up with the idea for the character of Basil Fawlty when the Monty Python team stayed at the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay. The owner of the hotel, Donald Sinclair, fascinated Cleese with his incredibly rude behaviour.
Fawlty Towers – Live on Stage will be based on the hilarious and much loved BBC TV series written by John Cleese and Connie Booth. It will be adapted for the stage by John Cleese, with direction by Caroline J. Ranger and set design by Liz Ascroft.
Manic, snobbish, condescending, sycophantic and rude, Basil Fawlty is without doubt one of the funniest, most iconic and most memorable British comedy characters ever written.
Basil is the proprietor and manager of the Torquay hotel, Fawlty Towers. His life is plagued by Germans, hotel inspectors and riff-raff, but his biggest headache is the ‘nest of vipers’ – his nagging wife Sybil. Together they run their hotel with a little help from the unflappable Polly, and very little help at all from Manuel, the trainee waiter from Barcelona who is the butt of Fawlty’s frustration.
Stephen Hall is no stranger to the world of John Cleese on stage, having played all of the John Cleese roles (Sir Lancelot, The French Taunter and Tim the Enchanter) in the 2007 Australian premiere season of Monty Python’s Spamalot.
In 2011, Stephen co-wrote the stage comedy Bond-A-Rama! Every James Bond Film Live On Stage in which he played not one, but three, of the most memorable Bonds: Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan. The show was a sell-out, prompting a second season the following year.
Stephen also wrote, produced and performed in the one-man stage show Raiders of the Temple of Doom’s Last Crusade; One Man Performs Three Indiana Jones Movies in One Hour, for the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2013. Following its success, the show was revived for a season in the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
The consummate comedic chameleon, for the past 4 years Stephen has been a cast member of Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell (ABC TV), where he plays a diverse range of usually unhinged and hilarious characters each week. In addition to his appearances, Stephen has also served as a writer on the show.
Blazey Best is renowned for her fine theatre performances and has worked with many of our major theatre companies. Most recently she appeared in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Arcadia at the Sydney Opera House. Her other Sydney Theatre Company credits include Travesties, Troupers and Summer Rain, and appeared in Luckiest Production’s critically acclaimed Miracle City at the Hayes Theatre, winning the 2015 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Actress in a musical.
Blazey has also been seen in Belvoir’s critically acclaimed production of Chekhov’s Ivanov for which she won the 2015 Sydney Theatre Award for best supporting actress. Her other Belvoir credits include The Threepenny Opera, Summer Of The Seventeenth Doll (National tour), Death Of A Salesman, the international tour of Simon Stone’s production of The Wild Duck and Medea for which she was awarded the 2012 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role.
Blazey has also appeared on television in shows such as Home And Away, All Saints, Wildside, Water Rats, The Killing Field and Janet King and in films like Ruben Guthrie and Ten Empty.
Fawlty Towers – Live on Stage will play a strictly limited, four-week only season at Sydney’s Roslyn Packer Theatre from 19 August in advance of seasons in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and New Zealand. Further casting details to follow.
Tickets are now on sale for the Sydney season, with tickets for Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane seasons on sale from 5 May 2016. For more information, visit: www.fawltytowerslive.com.au for details.
Image: John Cleese and Stephen Hall – photo by James Morgan