Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings

No faults with Fawlty Towers

In rehearsal: Callum Davies as Manuel has a point explained, or more likely confused by Basil Fawlty,  played by James Weetman

Fawlty Towers

Hall Green Little Theatre


IT MUST be quite a satisfying feeling as a writer to have penned a work that is firstly rejected by the lofty controllers of the BBC as a `clichéd disaster' and also panned by the critics of its time as predictable, only for it to become viewed years later, as one of the best TV programmes of all time.

But that's what John Cleese and Connie Booth can feel proud of with Fawlty Towers and how the legacy of  those  just 12 episodes are now  viewed  today since their first creation in 1975.

It was Jimmy Gilbert, the then head of the BBCs light entertainment, who said, 'You're going to have to get them out of the hotel, John, you can't do the whole thing in the hotel.' 

In fact it was somewhat short-sighted as many of the most successful comedies of the time like Rising Damp are nothing more than just one or two room situations.

It is that location simplicity that has enabled an `on stage' resurrection of the Fawlty Towers scripts in recent years making them a firm favourite of amateur companies across the country.

The Hall Green Little Theatre company are no exception with this current production and have managed to shoe horn three of the most popular programmes into a comprehensive and very funny play. 

Samantha Holden as Polly trying to bringa semblence of sanity to Torquay's maddest hotel

James Weetman takes on the exhausting task of Basil Fawlty and his confident and well-timed performance led the whole cast forward in creating a great deal of company confidence.

The young Callum Davies was the much berated waiter Manuel and both he and Weetman underwent a great deal of physical comedy both creating very faithful representations of the original TV Characters.

Linda Neale plays Sybil, Basil's snooty wife and again managed to create her voice and mannerisms to perfection including Sybil's cutting laugh while Samantha Holden did a fine job as Polly who works to hold the entire sinking ship together and also sounded fluent in both German and Spanish on a couple of occasions.

Steve parsons played the bumbling Major and drew a welcome round of applause during one complex dialogue interchange with Fawlty and his daft conversation with the moose.

The play is very well directed by Jean Wilde and together with a great supporting cast created an evening of rich entertainment and to do so overcame a great many production difficulties.

At times it was difficult to hear some of the lines due to the laughter but that's a good thing and unlike the service in the hotel, the play never fell apart once or was ever lacking in quality.  To 21-09-13.

Jeff Grant 

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