Fawlty Towers at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

Basil Fawlty and co are at Ferneham Hall from Thursday.
Basil Fawlty and co are at Ferneham Hall from Thursday.
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The British sitcom by which all other British sitcoms should be judged is a critic’s description rightly given to Fawlty Towers.

The comedy has more than stood the test of time, withstands multiple viewings, is eminently quotable and stands up to this day as a jewel in the BBC’s comedy crown.

You can watch the television show because the script is exactly the same word for word, and that gives us a very good idea of what we should be doing

Graeme Clements

So when Fareham Musical Society decided to do something a little different, the classic comedy came instantly to mind.

Graeme Clements, chairman of the society and constantly confused waiter Manuel in the production, says: ‘It all came from a dressing room chat back in 2011 when when we were doing the King And I.

‘We said we wanted to do something a little bit different and we thought ‘‘we have four comedy actors here, so why couldn’t we do Fawlty Towers?’’ And away we went.’

But how easy is it to bring one of the most-loved comedies of all time to the stage?

Graeme explains: ‘In some ways it works in your favour. You can watch the television show because the script is exactly the same word for word and that gives us a very good idea of what we should be doing.’

Sticklers for detail, the society have hunted down authentic props for the set, including phones from the ’70s.

One of the scenes the cast found most difficult to recreate is the memorable incident in which Basil Fawlty gives his car a thrashing.

Graeme says: ‘We had to adapt it a little bit but still managed to do it. The audiences won’t be disappointed.’

He adds: ‘The humour is definitely the best bit about it. It’s the classic lines. You can hear the audience waiting for you to say them knowing full well what you’re going to say.

‘As cast members on stage we look forward to that because we know the audience will laugh.’

Fawlty Towers is at Ferneham Hall, Fareham from June 11-13 at 8pm. Tickets are available at fernehamhall.co.uk or by calling 01329 824864.