One of the most highly praised British comedies to be on the BBC is making its way to Perry.
When the show opens Friday at Perry Players, the set will look eerily familiar to those who have watched the television show “Fawlty Towers.”
“We wanted it to be as close to the TV show as we possibly could,” director Stuart Appleton said.
Complete with a hotel desk and a dining room reminiscent of the TV show, the theater version is nearly the same, minus a wall.
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Actors and actresses who love the show came out in droves for the auditions.
Mark Webling, who plays the main character, Basil Fawlty, said he and his sister still use quotes from the show, which first aired in 1976.
Webling’s sister Kris Webling plays the part of Bail Fauwlty’s wife, Sybil.
“She was the model for Sybil,” Mark Webling said, kidding about the hotel owner’s wife, who does a lot of complaining and not a lot of work.
In her stage debut, the Weblings’ mother, Joan, plays Miss Tibbs, and Cat Webling, Mark Webling’s daughter, is Mrs. MacKenzie and a German lady.
Cat Webling had a promise from her father that if a local theater did “Fawlty Towers,” that he would try out.
“I quote this stuff all the time,” said Mark Webling, who is from Britain.
Another British actress who lives in Middle Georgia is Georgia Olson. She plays the part of waitress Polly. Olson also is a dialect coach and has helped a lot of the cast with their accents.
There were only 12 episodes of the show, and they have stood the test of time for 40 years. In 2000, the British Film Institute put “Fawlty Towers” at the top of its list of the 100 best British TV shows of all time.
Appleton said the script they are using is from scripts used for the show.
Perry Players will recreate three episodes, “A Touch of Class,” “The Hotel Inspectors” and “The Germans.”
Appleton stressed that no moose were harmed in the making of the play.
Written by John Cleese and Connie Booth, the show had two seasons, one in 1975 and the other in 1979.
During the first episode, Basil Fawlty is trying to recruit a higher class of customers to his hotel. As Basil tries to impress Lord Melbury, he moves already seated customers, tries to hang picture frames and forgets to call people for their morning alarms.
In the second episode, Fawlty is convinced there are hotel inspectors at his hotel. As he tries to impress those he believes are the inspectors, the hotel is in an uproar.
“The Germans” episode is considered one of the best of the 12 episodes, according to a TV Guide poll in 2007.
“You can’t go wrong with John Cleese. This is classic British comedy,” Appleton said.