Tauranga’s Detour Theatre Company is bringing to the stage one of Britain’s best made for TV comedies, Fawlty Towers.
The script for the stage play is taken directly from the TV episode scripts and it was not easy for Detour to secure the licence to do this.
Each time the show is performed, director Devon Williamson says there is a cost for Detour.
“It’s probably the most expensive as far as royalties go, but we are confident of it succeeding – it’s just one of those shows,” says Devon.
The Detour show is a compilation of three of the four first episodes: ‘A Touch of Class’, ‘The Builders’ and ‘The Hotel Inspectors’.
Devon says most of it is word-for-word and it translates well on to stage for the two hour show.
Stuart Gunn runs a line for director Devon Williamson ahead of Detour Theatre’s Fawlty Towers show in which he performs the role of Basil.
It is not without its challenges, however, and it requires a high energy performance from Stuart Gunn, the actor who performs John Cleese’s role of Basil Fawlty.
“The challenging thing is getting from scene to scene with Basil running from location to location,” says Devon, who notes there are only three or four blackouts in total.
“It’s absolutely mad; after half an hour Stuart is wishing he had trained for a marathon.”
Stuart is well versed in the role of Basil Fawlty having played the role an estimated 500 times around New Zealand.
He says it was a joy going through the processes of learning this play.
“Usually when you sit down and do the first reading it’s tedious and boring, but with this one we were rolling around the ground laughing on day one,” says Stuart.
The show is scheduled for performance at Detour Theatre, May 25 to June 11.
A Fawlty Towers skit courtesy of maker BBC.