Michael Coppel and Philip McIntyre in association with Louise Withers will present the World Premiere of John Cleese’s Fawlty Towers – Live on Stage, touring Australia and New Zealand from August 2016.
Fawlty Towers, the 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 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.
Announcing the search for Basil, Cleese said, “There have been many requests in the past 40 years to adapt Fawlty Towers for the stage. I now sense the time is right and I’d like my Aussie actor friends to be my collaborators on the world premiere of this epoch-shattering event, a watershed in the history of Australian theatrical culture. Or not”.
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. In an all-new adaptation, John Cleese will bring his beloved characters to life on stage in an un-missable evening of hilarity.
Auditions are scheduled for February 2016, with John Cleese overseeing the selection of an all-Australian cast to portray the iconic characters made famous in the revered BBC television series of the same name. Casting and ticketing details to be announced.
Fawlty Towers – Live on Stage will have its World Premiere Season at Sydney’s Roslyn Packer Theatre from Friday 19 August 2016. For more information, and to join the waitlist, visit: www.fawltytowerslive.com.au for details.
Image: John Cleese (supplied)