Since the last of the 12 episodes of Fawlty Towers was broadcast in 1979, there has been endless discussion over whether John Cleese and Connie Booth were right to call it a day or should have written a third series.

This stage version of the now legendary sit-com doesn't include any new dialogue, but instead mines their back catalogue - with Cleese himself splicing together classic episodes The Germans, The Hotel Inspectors and Communication Problems into what feels like a seamless two-hour show.

But the challenge of reprising/imitating such familiar comic performances by the likes of Cleese, Booth, Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs, must be daunting.

Romford Recorder: Hemi Yeroham as Manuel in Fawlty TowersHemi Yeroham as Manuel in Fawlty Towers (Image: Hugo Glendinning)

The audience of fans was clearly anticipating every spat out “Basil!”, and bewildered “Que?” were not let down - unlike the moose head in reception.

If it were just a nostalgia exercise it would have limited appeal but what is essentially a farce shot on a fixed TV set works very well on stage.

With minor modifications, designer Liz Ascroft delivers a pretty faithful reproduction of misty-eyed TV memories, and costumes that recreate the look of the series.

Romford Recorder: The cast do a brilliant job of recreating the original series charactersThe cast do a brilliant job of recreating the original series characters (Image: Hugo Glendinning)

The cast do a fine job of giving the audience what they came for. Paul Nicholas’ blazered buffoon Major is excellent, as is Steven Meo as the pernickety spoon salesman Mr Hutchison, and Rachel Izen is terrifying as "deaf, mad and blind” Mrs Richardson.

Victoria Fox, as long suffering, wise and inexplicably loyal Polly, even managed to capture the disguised American twang of Booth’s accent, while Hemi Yeroham’s Manuel is utterly convincing.

Anna-Jane Casey as Sybil is simply brilliant – mannerisms, timing, expressions, voice and cackling laugh, the lot.

Romford Recorder: Adam Jackson-Smith as Basil and Victoria Fox as PollyAdam Jackson-Smith as Basil and Victoria Fox as Polly (Image: Hugo Glendinning)

But the biggest test is for Adam Jackson-Smith – could he pull off the sheer physical comedy of Basil? The answer is a big yes! Pompous, self-pitying, sarcastic and pathetic, with the funny walk, manic gurning grimaces and pitch-perfect voice.

If nothing else the stage show reminds you how brilliantly worked the plotting and dialogue is. Uproarious laughter anticipated the much-loved lines and an opening night audience (heaving with the likes of Eddy Izzard, Tony Robinson, Bill Bailey, Alan Davies, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and of course Cleese) loved every minute and gave it a standing ovation.

With so much more material in the vaults, could this be the first more Fawlty Towers, the stage show? 

Fawlty Towers The Play runs at The Apollo Theatre until further notice.