“Fawlty Towers” is coming to Australia. Actor Stephen Hall is set to fill in the shoes of British legend John Cleese as Basil Fawlty in the Australian adaptation.
Cleese was in Melbourne recently and made the announcement in a press conference on Monday, according to Daily Mail. “You need someone who connects with the character emotionally,” revealed Cleese. He also added that the Aussie actor was selected from a shortlist of “five really good Basils,” states Sydney Morning Herald. “One of the things I liked so much about Stephen was that he was more different from Basil than any of the other Basils,” informed Cleese about his selection.
This is not the first time that Hall will be doing a role already played by Cleese. Hall has portrayed a bunch of Cleese’s roles during the Australian premiere of the musical comedy show “Spamalot” in 2007.
In this live adaptation, he plays Basil. Basil Fawlty is a stuck-up hotelier who is also grouchy. His quirks and attitude get him in trouble more often than not. He has a wife named Sybil who will be played by Blazey Best.
The “Fawlty Towers” live on stage is an adaptation of the seventies BBC show. According to Digital Spy, the onstage adaptation will be a combination of three of the most popular episodes: “Communication Problems,” “The Germans,” and “Basil and the Rat.” The show will have its world premiere in Sydney in August, says Sydney Morning Herald. From Sydney, it will travel to Melbourne in October, followed by Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, and New Zealand.
While explaining the reason to premiere the stage adaptation in Australia, John Cleese said, “The British press doesn’t like me very much. I don’t think I would have got very good reviews [in London]. I would be very careful about bringing anything into the West End until it had achieved some success somewhere else.”