fawlty towers actor cleese threatens to sue australian company
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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'Fawlty Towers' actor Cleese threatens to sue Australian company

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today 'Fawlty Towers' actor Cleese threatens to sue Australian company

John Cleese attends the 'Monty Python And The Holy Grail' Special Screening during the Tribeca Film Festival
Sydney - Arab Today

British actor John Cleese threatened to sue an Australian theatre company over a tribute show he said was "ripping off" his hit sitcom "Fawlty Towers".

The Monty Python star, who played Basil Fawlty in the 1970s comedy about a fictitious English hotel, blasted the theatre company behind the "Faulty Towers Dining Experience" for not seeking permission to use the television title, themes and characters.

"I've just found out from an Aussie journalist the astonishing financial success of the 'Faulty Towers Rip-Off Dining Experience'," Cleese said in a series of tweets starting Wednesday.

"Seems they thought that by not asking, and by changing the 'w' to a 'u',they'd be in the clear! Hilarious.

"I had never realised that 'tribute' is a synonym for 'rip-off,'" he said on Twitter to his more than five million followers.

Cleese told Fairfax Media on Wednesday he had "absolutely no idea this was going on until about a year ago".
"If they've been going for 20 years without paying us a penny, they could well owe us a very significant amount," he said.

"These people are shamelessly ripping off (co-writer) Connie Booth and myself, and they are publishing aggressive threats against anyone else who would seek to rip them off in the same way."

The Interactive Theatre International said Thursday: "We are staggered by John Cleese's vitriol towards us and our tribute show.

"We are not an unauthorised rip-off show – anyone who knows the law in this area will understand that we do not require authorisation to use the concept of Fawlty Towers."

The company said Cleese had known about the show for years.

"It is a shame he has chosen to air his frustrations so publicly rather than contacting us directly about this matter," the company added.

The Sydney Morning Herald said the company was set up in Brisbane in 1999 and currently has nine versions of the 'Faulty Towers' show running around the world, including London.

Cleese's own production, "Fawlty Towers Live", is due to open in Sydney in August.

"We certainly don't want other shows out there confusing people," Cleese told Fairfax.
Source: AFP

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