Review: Fawlty Towers, The Seagull Rep, Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion, August 28; Norwich Playhouse, August 30-31; Braintree Arts Theatre, September 1; Chelmsford’s Civic Theatre, September 5-6

Something about the Fawlty Towers theme soothes me; appealing to my inner, and more often than not, outer Basil.

Lowestoft’s Seagull Theatre was transformed into Torquay’s most famous hotel for a night full of laughs. The guests may’ve not enjoyed their stay, but we never wanted to check out.

Yes, most of us knew what was coming; but it didn’t matter.

Classic episodes The Hotel Inspectors, The Germans and Gourmet Night were brought brilliantly to life by the amazing main cast and supporting actors.

All should be congratulated for bringing a fresh feel to such a well-known show and characters when it would’ve been much easier to lazily imitate.

Nick Murray Brown was central to this as beleaguered Basil, you actually felt a little sorry for him; it was a tour-de-force performance. Agnes Lillis was frankly frightening as constant in-growing toenail in his side Sybil; stealing many a scene.

Alison Collinge put in a strong performance as put upon waitress Polly and special mention must go to Will Isgrove as Manuel, who never once strayed into a Spanish stereotype.

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The set design allowed everybody to really capture the TV show’s pace and energy. Manuel’s interaction with the audience during the many scene changes was a genius way of keeping us engaged.

Sadly it’s the Seagull Rep’s final Fawlty Towers tour so be sure to catch it at one of the above theatres. Just don’t get a lift with Basil…


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