Basil Fawlty unleashes battering pan on Manuel
Basil Fawlty is hoping things pan out well for his co-star Manuel in an upcoming play at the King’s Theatre in Gloucester following a comical mishap in rehearsals.
Simon Davies, who plays the infamous Spanish waiter, got more than he bargained for when he was smacked over the head with a frying pan last week.
Manuel - known for saying “I know nothing” in the classic TV series Fawlty Towers - could even be sporting a slight bruise on his head when the play gets underway.
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Director Jason said: “We had practiced it a few times and it had been going really well.
“If you smack someone in the right place with a frying pan it doesn’t hurt very much.
“But last week Lee Kendrick, who plays Basil, cracked him in the wrong place and hit his head with the rim.
“Simon went down to the floor and didn’t get up so we started to get concerned.
“The thing is, he is the kind of guy who you never know if he’s being serious or not, so it was difficult to tell if he was badly hurt.
“But he got up eventually with a big bump on his head and he was a bit concussed.”
It is well known that Andrew Sachs, the actor who played Manuel in the hit TV sitcom, was injured more than once during filming, falling victim to John Cleese’s over zealous acting.
Mr Davis said he has been taking a hard hat to rehearsals.
The 51-year-old who has performed with The Crown Players since 1976 said: “I think they thought I was joking until I didn’t get up but I have been taking a hard hat to rehearsals so if I get hit again I will be ok until the first night.
“It was a complete accident but we like to make it look authentic - at least I have 20 minutes between the saucepan scene and the next episode when the play starts so if I do get hit I will have 20 minutes to recover.”
Due to the accident, solutions were looked at to make the scene safer ready for the live performances but it was decided to keep the scenes the same.
Lee Kendrick, 27, who plays Basil said: “Simon is such a good actor - I didn’t know if he was joking or serious when he fell to his knees.
“I will just have to watch how hard I hit him in future.”
The Crown players are currently putting the finished touches to their performances of Fawlty Towers which will be staged from Wednesday April 21 to Saturday April 24.
Tickets for the play are on sale at Gloucester’s Tourist Information Centre which is based at 28 Southgate Street and is open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm.
For more information call the TIC on 01452 396572.
For more information visit www.kingstheatre.uk2k.com.