Fawlty Towers, the smash-hit 1970s television comedy series starring John Cleese, is the latest show to hit the stage at the Bernie Legge Theatre in New West.
The Vagabond Players have adapted the show for a live audience, and local actress Tammy Theis is looking forward to performing in a lead role in the show.
"I'm so excited. It's a dream role," she said. "I watched Fawlty Towers as a kid."
Theis is playing Sybil, the wife of leading character, Basil.
As with the rest of the cast, except for one actress who is originally from London, England, she has had to adopt a British accent for the quintessentially British play.
"Learning your lines and having to do the accent at the same time, doing the lines in a certain way, is much more challenging when you have to do an accent," she said.
Theis has been acting since age 14, after being discovered by a talent agent who was scouting her drama class in junior high school.
After years in TV and film roles, she decided to pursue a degree at Simon Fraser University in Canadian studies, where she now works in administration in the history department.
At SFU, she learned to break-dance and became a professional break-dancer who now teaches youth classes for the City of New Westminster.
When she's not at work or busy raising her two young kids, however, Theis still finds time for amateur acting roles.
This will be her first time performing with the Vagabond Players, and said she's delighted to have been cast in this popular comedy caper.
"It's hilarious," she said. "Even the casting director and one of the set designers, they drop in and watch rehearsals and they're just laughing and rolling in the aisles. The director's wife was laughing so hard she was crying."
The original script was written for television, which makes it a challenge to adapt it for the stage, but it was a worthwhile endeavor, said director Dwayne Campbell.
"It was quite a challenge, but it worked out," he said. "We're quite pleased with the way it's gone."
The three episodes adapted for the stage are: A Touch of Class, The Hotel Inspectors, and Communication Problems.
Fawlty Towers, written by John Cleese and Connie Booth, runs about two hours, with two 15-minute intermissions.
Campbell directs a cast of 15, which includes Ryan J. Johnson as Basil, William Valenzuela as Manuel, Jodie Wilson-Smith as Polly, Kathleen Driscoll as the "guest from hell," and other performers playing the various guests staying at the hotel.
The curtain rises Feb. 28 through March 23, Thursdays through Saturdays, at 8 p.m., with Sunday matines at 2 p.m.
The Bernie Legge Theatre is located in Queen's Park, behind the Arenex.
Tickets are $15, or $13 for seniors and students with valid ID.
Two-for-one preview tickets will be available for the Feb. 28 and March 1 shows.
To reserve tickets, call 604-521-0412 or email email@example.com.
For more information, visit www.vagabondplayers.ca.
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