John Cleese’s Fawlty Towers set for West End Debut

Cast of Fawlty Towers in the West End

A new stage adaptation of John Cleese’s Fawlty Towers will open in the West End this May.

Co-creator and star John Cleese has penned the play, which will open at London’s Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, with previews starting from 4 May and the grand premiere scheduled for Wednesday, 15 May.

Tickets will be available from Wednesday, 7 February at 10:00 am.

Plot of Fawlty Towers in the West End

This stage rendition brings together three of the original television series’ most celebrated episodes – ‘The Hotel Inspector’, ‘The Germans’ from series one, and ‘Communication Problems’ from series two – into a two-hour theatrical experience.

The plot revolves around Basil Fawlty’s misguided attempts to impress what he suspects are hotel inspectors, complicated by a group of German guests and the challenging Mrs. Richards.

John Cleese said: “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…”

Meet the cast

The cast of Fawlty Towers in the West End will feature Basil as Adam Jackson-Smith; Sybil as Anna-Jane Casey; Manuel as Hemi Yeroham; Polly as Victoria Fox; The Major as Paul Nicholas; Mrs Richards as Rachel Izen; Mr Hutchinson/German guest as Steven Meo; Miss Tibbs as Kate Russell-Smith; Miss Gatsby as Nicola Sanderson; Mr Thurston/German guest as Greg Haiste; Mr Walt / Dr Finn as Danny Bayne; Taxi Driver/ Mr Firkins / Mr Kerr / Mr Sharp as Neil Stuart, German guest as Emma Fenney and Hotel Guests: Mia Austen, John Hasler, Dale Superville.

Completing the company of players are Ben Jacobson and Suzy Bloom.

Fawlty Towers, originally broadcast on BBC Two on 19 September 1975, was inspired by the real-life experiences of John Cleese at the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay, owned by the notoriously rude Donald Sinclair.

The play is directed by Caroline Jay Ranger (Only Fools and Horses The Musical & Monty Python Live) and co-written by Connie Both. Set & Costume design is by Liz Ascroft, lighting design by Ian Scott and casting by Anne Vosser. The assistant director is Denise Ranger and resident director Chris Kiely.

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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