John Cleese Brings Fawlty Towers To West End

John Cleese Brings Fawlty Towers To West End
Image: Damir Hajdarbasic /

One of the most famous characters in British TV history, Basil Fawlty will make his West End stage debut in May.

John Cleese, the comedic mastermind behind Fawlty Towers, has written a new two-hour play melding the plots of three episodes of the classic sitcom; The Hotel Inspector, The Germans and Communication Problems.

Fawlty Towers, which follows the mishaps of a frustrated Torquay hotelier, first aired in 1975 on the BBC with its two six-episode seasons in regular TV rotation ever since.

Now, almost half a century later, Basil along with his colourful staff and bizarre hotel guests will take to the stage at London’s Apollo Theatre with previews opening on 4th May ahead of a press night on 15th May.

The Monty Python legend said in statement: “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.”

The lead role will be played by Adam Jackson-Smith, while Anna-Jane Casey will take over from Prunella Scales as Fawlty’s long-suffering wife and colleague, Sybil.

Victoria Fox will play staff member and aspiring artist Polly, originally played by the TV shows co-creator and writer Connie Booth.

Hemi Yeroham will fill the famous bow tie of under-appreciated Spanish waiter Manuel, originated by Andrew Sachs in the 1970s.

Cleese said: “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…”

Tickets go on sale at 10am on 7th February.