John Cleese adapts Fawlty Towers for West End stage

The former Python star co-wrote the 12 episode sitcom with Connie Booth, and memorably starred as Basil Fawlty, the rude proprietor of a terrible seaside hotel.

Recorded at West London’s BBC TV centre in 1974, and first broadcast in September 1975, Fawlty Towers will now see its stage version premiere at the  Apollo Theatre on Wednesday 15 May.

The two-hour play is adapted from three classic episodes; ‘The Hotel Inspector’ and ‘The Germans’ from series one, and ‘Communication Problems’ from series two.

John Cleese says: “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. We’ve 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.”

The show is directed by Caroline Jay Ranger (Only Fools and Horses The Musical & Monty Python Live), with Basil played by Adam Jackson-Smith; Sybil played by Anna-Jane Casey; Manuel played by Hemi Yeroham; Polly played by Victoria Fox;  and The Major played by Paul Nicholas.

Following a tip off 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 his ever vigilant and bossy wife, Sybil.

Tickets for Fawlty Towers are now on sale at

Recommended For You