Us Brits love a good sit-com and Only Fools and Horses is perhaps one of the most popular of them all. Starting in 1981, Only Fools and Horses is clearly an all time classic for audiences of all ages and of all generations. The 1996 episode Time on Our Hands holds the record for the highest UK audience for a sitcom episode, attracting 24.3 million viewers!
And now, you will be pleased to hear, it is opening in the West End. Welsh comedy legend Paul Whitehouse has written a musical version of this hit sitcom and will also star as Grandad in this guaranteed popular hit.
The play will also star Tom Bennett (Phoneshop) as the easy to love, wheeler-dealer Del boy and Ryan Hutton (Comedy of Errors) playing the lanky, and slightly luckless Rodney.
The newly produced show will feature 20 songs written by Whitehouse and co-writer Jim Sullivan (the son of the creator of the show, John Sullivan) and will also include familiar faces such as Cassandra, Raquel, Boycie, Trigger, Marlene, Mickey Pearce and Denzil. You will also be thrilled to hear that the show will feature tunes from Chas Hodges; the legendary piano-player from Chas ‘n’ Dave.
The story will take us back to 1989 where we’ll see Del Boy take to the streets of Peckham on his hunt for both love and his fortunes whilst yuppies begin to take over the city that he has come to love and what he calls his own.
Grandad (Whitehouse) sings ‘Where have all the cockneys gone?’ in the famous Nag’s Head pub, whilst Del ponders about whether or not he will be a millionaire this time next year!
Whitehouse told the press:
“It was John Sullivan’s project, and it was what he was writing when he tragically died. I spoke with Chas Hodges about doing some stuff with this. Sadly Chas is gone now as well. So it is a delicate legacy. Especially for Jim. I think he set out to finish what his father had started. Only Fools and Horses wasn’t just a comedy show, it became a part of people’s lives. We want to celebrate John Sullivan’s writing, and hope we’ve done it justice.”
Jim Sullivan said:
“Writing the musical was a big challenge. The world of Only Fools and Horses is so rich with characters and history; it spanned over two decades and included births, deaths and marriages. We wanted to stay faithful to the original material as much as possible, but without simply regurgitating it.”
Producers of the show have described the production as
“celebrating feel-good family traditions, and the aspirations we all share in making our dreams more than mere pie in the sky.”
The stage show will start its eagerly expected run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in February.