Fawlty Towers is the challenge awaiting The Pantiles Players as they head for The Noah’s Ark Open-Air Theatre to continue their proud tradition of performing at Lurgashall.
Director Sandra Barfield said: “The company has always enjoyed performing there. They love it. It’s a good venue and we are always quite relaxed by the time we get to Lurgashall.”
As director, Sandra will be travelling with the Players, all part of the cheek by jowl ethos which ensures that they remain a tight company.
They enjoyed great success last year with Jeeves; they’re hoping for more of the same this year with the John Cleese/Connie Booth classic.
“I just love Fawlty Towers,” Sandra says. “I have always loved it. I think that the characters are so well defined and it’s lovely to do a play where the actors really don’t have to worry about the characters. They know about Basil and what he is all about. They know about Sybil and how she is with Basil. The actors don’t have to go into the nitty-gritty of finding their characters.”
Sandra stresses she doesn’t want the actors to mimic the originals, but clearly there are certain things that you couldn’t get away with and plenty of things that the characters absolutely have to do in terms of mannerisms.
To a large extent, it is about impersonation, she concedes: “But I want the actors to find their own way to work out the characters that they are playing.”
For the show, the Players are offering the episodes Communication Problems and Basil The Rat in their entirety. They are also offering a mixture of Touch Of Class and Wedding Party.
Performances are Thursday, July 28-Saturday, July 30 nightly at 7.45pm, tickets £13, £11 senior citizens and £9 under 16s on 01428 707346. Seating is plastic chairs. For extra comfort and warmth, bring cushions and rugs.
The Pantiles Players is an amateur theatre company based in Tunbridge Wells. Formed in 1942 to provide local wartime entertainment, the Players have performed at various locations around Tunbridge Wells over the year.