Basil Fawlty is back, so don’t mention the war

Halifax Thespians' production of Fawlty Towers: At the back: Neil Turner (Basil Fawlty); L-R : Laura Womersley (Polly) & Lesley Travis (Sybil Fawlty). Front: Rob Billson (Manuel)
Halifax Thespians' production of Fawlty Towers: At the back: Neil Turner (Basil Fawlty); L-R : Laura Womersley (Polly) & Lesley Travis (Sybil Fawlty). Front: Rob Billson (Manuel)
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Hello, Fawlty! Two words to send a shudder down the spine of hen-pecked hotelier Basil as he grapples with a forgetful Major, a formidable wife and a forceful and unflappable chambermaid.

And that’s before you throw in hapless waiter (“he’s from Barcelona”) Manuel, stroppy chef Terry and the eclectic and sometimes eccentric guests that Basil deals with on a daily basis - always with unexpected and hilarious results.

Revived for the stage by Halifax Thespians, ‘Fawlty Towers’ by John Cleese and Connie Booth - who played Basil and chambermaid Polly respectively in the hit 1970s BBC sitcom - will see Halifax Playhouse transformed into the Fawltys’ Torquay hotel.

The production opens on Tuesday (7.30pm) and runs nightly until Saturday, June 15, when there will also be a 2.30pm matinee.

Three episodes of the TV series have been adapted for the stage. They are: ‘A Touch of Class’, where Basil fawns over the aristocratic Lord Melbury; ‘The Hotel Inspectors’, in which Basil hears they are roaming Torquay incognito and realises with horror that the guest he has been verbally abusing could be one of them; and ‘Communication Problems’, featuring the guest from hell, the deaf and indomitable Mrs Richards - played with aplomb in the original series by Joan Sanderson.

Basil will be played by Nick Turner, who is making his debut with the society. Lesley Travis, Laura Womersley and Rob Billson will play Sybil, Polly and Manuel.

The large cast also features Ian Byfield, Audrey Walker, Maureen Needham, Andy Whitworth, Anna Tiffany, Steve Tetlow, Dorothea Annison, Judith Crawshaw, Ben Bergin, Pete Brearley, James Knowles, Chris Marsh and Marion Reynolds as the fierce Mrs Richards. Director, Gerard Marescaux, whose son Ethan plays two small roles, says he cannot wait to leave the rehearsal rooms and transfer to the Playhouse stage, especially considering the large cast.

For tickets call the box office: 01422 365998 or visit www.ticketsource.co.uk/halifaxplayhouse

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