The first images of the world premiere cast of Fawlty Towers – Live on Stage have been revealed ahead of the 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.
Blazey Best (Sybil), Syd Brisbane (Manuel), Stephen Hall (Basil) and Aimee Horne (Polly), who along with the entire company were “handpicked” by John Cleese, who has adapted Fawlty Towers for the stage, utilising some of his own personal all time favourite moments.
The full company of Fawlty Towers – Live on Stage are (in alphabetical order): Ana Maria Belo (Miss Tibbs/Ensemble), Paul Bertram (The Major), Blazey Best (Sybil), Syd Brisbane (Manuel), Paul Denny (Mr Hutchison/ Ensemble), Stephen Hall (Basil), Aimee Horne (Polly), Andrew Johnston (Mr Walt, German Guest, Ensemble), Sarah Jane Kelly (Onstage Swing), Deborah Kennedy (Mrs Richards), Anna Lee (Miss Gatsby, Nurse, Ensemble), John Shearman (Taxi Driver, Inspector, Ensemble), Emily Thomas (German Guest, Ensemble), John Voce (Mr. Thurston, Dr Finn, German Guest, Ensemble), David John Watton (Mr Firkins, Mr Kerr, Mr Sharp, Ensemble).
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 assisted by Ed Wightman. Set design will be 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. Cleese will bring his beloved characters to life on stage in an unmissable evening of hilarity.
Basil is the proprietor and manager of a Torquay hotel, Fawlty Towers. Following a tipoff that hotel inspectors may be visiting and eager to impress, Basil attempts to ingratiate himself with guests that he suspects are there to critique the establishment.
The situation is further plagued by a party of Germans, the deaf and dotty guest-from-hell, Mrs Richards, whose infuriating complaints prevent him from hiding a gambling win from the ever-vigilant Sybil – his wife and ‘nest-of-vipers’. 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.
Fawlty Towers – Live on Stage plays Sydney’s Roslyn Packer Theatre from 19 August, then tours to Melbourne (from 21 September), Adelaide (from 26 October), Perth (17 November), Brisbane (from 28 December) and New Zealand. For more information, visit: www.fawltytowerslive.com.au for details.
Image: Blazey Best, Stephen Hall, Aimee Horne and Syd Brisbane star in Fawlty Towers – Live on Stage – photo by James Morgan