Fawlty Towers returning with John Cleese replaced as Basil

John Cleese is bringing Basil Fawlty back in a different way (Picture: Shutterstock)

Fawlty Towers is making a comeback – but not how you might think.

John Cleese is leading a revival of the classic BBC comedy, which was first recorded at BBC Television Centre back in 1974, as rude and eccentric hotelier Basil Fawlty moves from Torquay to the West End.

That’s right – rather than the much-discussed TV sequel, the Monty Python pioneer is bringing Fawlty Towers to the stage at London’s Apollo Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue.

Making its debut in May with an initial run until September, Cleese – who penned the original series with Connie Booth – has written the two-hour play base on three of the original episodes.

Based on The Hotel Inspector and The Germans (series one) and Communication Problems (series two), the actor and comedian has high hopes for Basil’s return.

‘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,’ he said, while confirming he won’t be reprising his role in the show.

Hemi Yeroham (Manuel), Victoria Fox (Polly), Adam Jackson-Fox (Basil) and Anna-Jane Casey (Sybil) have taken over the iconic characters (Picture: Neil Reading PR/PA)

‘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.

Meet Adam Jackson-Fox as the new Basil Fawlty (Picture: Neil Reading PR/PA)

‘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 has been directed by Caroline Jay Ranger, known for her work on Only Fools And Horses: The Musical and Monty Python Live, while Adam Jackson-Smith takes over as Basil.

Anna-Jane Casey will play his long-suffering wife Sybil, with Hemi Yeroham playing Andrew Sach’s character Manuel.

The stage show will premiere at London’s Apollo Theatre (Picture: Neil Reading PR/PA Wire)

Victoria Fox and Paul Nicholas join as Polly and The Major respectively, while the the rest of the cast is rounded off by the likes of Rachel Izen, Steven Meo, Kate Russell-Smith, Nicola Sanderson, Greg Haiste and more.

The synopsis reads: ‘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 original show was first filmed in 1974 (Picture: Neil Reading PR/PA)

‘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.

‘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.’

Tickets for Fawlty Towers will go on sale on Wednesday 7 February at 10.00am, from FawltyTowersWestend.com.

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