John Cleese to bring Fawlty Towers to the stage, world premiere in Sydney

The world premiere of John Cleese’s Fawlty Towers – Live on Stage will debut in Sydney in August 2016 with an all Australian cast.

John Cleese
John Cleese

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 and it was confirmed today that a live production, adapted for the stage by Cleese himself, will be touring Australia and New Zealand thanks to producers Michael Coppel and Philip McIntyre in association with Louise Withers.

Fawlty Towers – Live on Stage will be based on the BBC TV series written by John Cleese and Connie Booth. The television series, was first broadcast on BBC Two in the UK in 1975 and was 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.)

In February 2016, Cleese will be overseeing auditions to cast the iconic characters made famous on the small screen.

“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”, said Cleese

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.

World Premiere Season

From Friday 19 August 2016
Sydney’s Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay

To join the waitlist and for news and updates:

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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