Blazey Best grew up watching Fawlty Towers.
“My father had an early tape recording machine so I got to watch them multiple times. I was a huge fan when I was young … I loved watching them!”
Watching actress Prunella Scales portray Sybil Fawlty all those years ago, it never occurred to the young Blazey Best that one day she would also take on this now-iconic character in the world premiere of a stage version.
“Prunella’s performance was hugely influential for me, so when I came to the audition and I was performing in front of John Cleese it was just one of those moments – a very surreal moment, a childhood wish moment,” commented Best.
Having to audition for John Cleese was a strange experience according to Best, “I was really not nervous, just dazzled by the kismet … it was strange. He’s a real hero of mine. I enjoyed the moment.”
Prior to auditioning for the role of Sybil Fawlty, Blazey Best watched the Fawlty Towers episodes upon which the new stage show is based, but once cast into the role, watched every episode, again.
“There’s so many wonderful story lines in there and character clues,” said Best.
Only twelve episodes of Fawlty Towers were made, which often comes as a surprise to fans of the show. Best explains that because each episode was densely packed with so many comic moments you remember it more like seven or eight seasons.
According to Blazey Best, the most important traits to get right when playing Sybil Fawlty are the voice and mannerisms. Best said it is also important to maintain Sybil’s integrity.
“She’s a strong woman. She can’t be passive or nothing would get done! That is the thing – playing a strong woman in the relationship without resorting to a caricature – which I think Prunella Scales did it perfectly.”
In describing Sybil Fawlty, Best said, “I think she is trying to keep a ship on track that is just constantly veering off and her 2IC is a total flibbertigibbet. So that’s how I see her – she’s just trying to keep on an even keel, trying to keep things running.”
Best said it’s a huge privilege to be part of the world premiere.
The stage play of Fawlty Towers was written by John Cleese and is based on several of the original television episodes. Clearly, it’s a play that will appeal to fans of the original tv series, but according to Blazey Best, even people who have never seen an episode of Fawlty Towers will still love this new play.
“It’s a perfectly crafted script, which hopefully is executed very well, and I just don’t think you can wrong with that,” commented Best.
Fawlty Towers closes in Sydney this weekend then opens at the Comedy Theatre in Melbourne on Wednesday.
Live – on Stage
World Premiere Season
August 19 – September 18
Sydney’s Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay
Comedy Theatre, Melbourne
September 21 – October 23 2016
To purchase tickets www.ticketmaster.com.au Tel: 1300 11 10 11
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide
October 26 – November 13 2016
To purchase tickets www.bass.net.au Tel: 131 246
The Regal Theatre, Subiaco
November 17 – December 11 2016
To purchase tickets www.ticketek.com.au Tel: 132 849
The Playhouse, QPAC Southbank
December 28 – January 22 2016 – 2017
To purchase tickets www.qpac.com.au Tel: 136 246