‘The problem with comedy is the laughter' - John Cleese gives verdict on his new Fawlty Towers play

Virgin Radio

2 May 2024, 15:49

John Cleese and the cast of Fawlty Towers The Play

Credit: Getty

John Cleese has given his verdict on the new Fawlty Towers-based play which he adapted for the stage, and which will soon hit London’s West End.

Speaking at a media preview of a few of the play’s scenes today (2nd May), the Monty Python icon shared he believed the show was “awfully good”, the Mirror reports.

“The problem with comedy is the laughter,” Cleese then claimed, while speaking to press. “Comedy is all about timing and what [this cast now] have to work on is where the audience laugh - is there a small laugh, a medium sized laugh, or a big one?

“The audience almost becomes part of what is going on on stage,” the actor added, before he then reflected that it is therefore “important to have lots of performances before an opening night."

Fawlty Towers The Play begins its preview performances this Saturday (4th May), and Cleese today shared that he thinks the play - based on several of his and his ex-wife Connie Booth’s sitcom’s most-loved scripts - will shape up to be a “tremendous” show. But the actor also added with some of his trademark comedic honesty: “But I think it is going to be tremendous in June.”

“In June people will have figured out where the laughter is and know exactly how to play the thing. When you have got a comedy or a farce, the audience becomes part of it. You have got to do it a lot to get the timing right," he shared.

Fawlty Towers The Play begins at London’s Apollo Theatre on Saturday, 4th May. For tickets, see: fawltytowerswestend.com