Check in with Duns Players

Duns Players take to the stage this week to recreate one of the most iconic of British sit-coms, Fawlty Towers.

Director Peter Lerpiniere, who will also play Basil Fawlty, said that although the production has been hard work it has also been great fun.

He commented: “Fawlty Towers ran for only 12 episodes almost 40 years ago, yet the recognition factor is immense.

“People can still quote lines from it and they remember the plots.

“So, when I stumbled on some scripts for sale I did not require a degree in the bleeding obvious, as Basil himself once put it. This had to be our next production!

“We chose two episodes, Communication Problems and The Kipper And The Corpse as they present different aspects of the series.

“One is much more about the fabulous wordplay that John Cleese and Connie Booth created whereas the comedy in the other comes from Basil simply trying to cover up his mistakes which then creates situations that escalate out of all control.”

Casting Fawlty Towers was a challenge as the actors were asked not merely to do an impression but to bring their own stamp to familiar characters.

There is also no stage adaptation for live performance, the scripts are as seen on television and, although they are every bit as funny now as when they were first written, live theatre does not have the advantage of being able to cut from scene to scene.

To tackle this, Duns Players have created a set which runs over four stages. Though they still have room for only one bedroom, and no staircase.

“Ultimately it’s the quality of the writing that shines through,” Peter added.

“We’ve enjoyed recreating this piece of TV history and we think the audience will see something familier, something new and recognise, once again, just how good a piece of work Fawlty Towers really was.”

The show runs at the Volunteer Hall, Duns from tonight to Saturday, March 5. There’s a licensed bar and the doors open at 7pm. Tickets are available from Number 18 in Duns Square or on the door.