Fawlty Towers lockdown fun from a couple of Little Theatre fans

9th May 2020

How would Britain’s grumpiest guest house owner get on in lockdown?

Well two Norfolk professional actor have given us an insight by videoing a mock episode of Fawlty Towers  – which sees Basil wrestling with all the challenges of coronavirus confinement ranging from wearing rubber gloves  to furloughing bumbling waiter Manuel via Zoom.

Paul Andrew Goldsmith, whose work includes running musical theatre courses for the Theatre Royal Norwich and directing the Polar Express train on the Mid Norfolk Railway, hatched the idea with partner Katherine Vince, who is drama lecturer at the UEA.

Paul Andrew Goldsmith and Katherine Vince as Basil and Sybil Fawlty

Paul Andrew Goldsmith and Katherine Vince as Basil and Sybil Fawlty

The pair have played Basil and Sybil Fawlty at themed events and hatched the idea of reprising the roles for a bit of lockdown fun.

“We are both Fawlty fans, had seen a lot of our work either disappear or move on line. We were going a bit stir crazy and thought we’d have a go at doing an episode, using a loose script, a lot of improvisation and raiding the costume cupboard.

“And we thought it might encourage other people to have a go too. It is so easy to do nothing in lockdown – but most people have access to a smart phone video camera, and some clothes to dress up – so we would encourage them to have a go at creating something too, to give themselves a laugh for a few minutes.”

The 10-minute “Episode 13 Lockdown” video took an afternoon and evening to shoot. It is already attracting feedback from Fawlty Towers fan clubs, the media and even John Cleese’s personal assistant who is passing it on the comedy legend.

Paul added: “We are big fans of the Sheringham Little Theatre having visited many shows there – and enjoy the way you combine professional and amateur drama. We hope our video provides a smile for the theatre’s supporters.”

Enjoy it here: (warning, there might be a couple of naughty words in there. Basiiiilllll!)


Paul Andrew Goldsmith and Katherine Vince as Basil and Sybil Fawlty