Only Fools and Horses originally ran for seven series between 1981 and 1991, followed by multiple Christmas specials, a spin-off and a prequel series. The series followed the antics of lovable rogue Del Boy Trotter (David Jason), an archetypal fast-talking ‘fly’ trader living in Peckham with his much younger brother, Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst), and their elderly Grandad (Lennard Pearce). The three engage in a series of get-rich-quick schemes, trading out of a three-wheeled Reliant Regal van. It is celebrated as one of the greatest British sitcoms of all times (the 1996 Christmas special was watched by over 24 million people) and has had a lasting cultural impact, as shown by the use of the show's catchphrases in everyday speech. Fun fact: without Del Boy, we would not be using the expressions "plonker", "cushty” or "lovely jubbly".
The original cast of Only Fools and Horses (c) BBC
The landmark television series, originally written by the late John Sullivan, has been adapted to the stage by Sullivan’s son Jim and comedy giant Paul Whitehouse, who will also be taking on the role of Grandad. Tom Bennett will play Del Boy, with Ryan Hutton completing the trio as Rodney. New songs have been written for the show by cockney rock band Chas n Dave, making this a truly home-grown musical. Popular moments from the TV series will be recreated alongside brand-new material, all complemented by the funny, original score.
Time will tell how the sitcom adapts to the stage. It is always risky to play around with a classic and life has altered a lot since 1981. Peckham is now the place to be, with the arrival of Frank’s Café in 2007 heralding the hipster rebirth of the area. The show, set in 1989, deals with the 'yuppie invasion' of London, hopefully encompassing contemporary issues into its narrative. This may be a risk worth taking -after all, he who dares, wins!
|What||Only Fools and Horses: The Musical, Theatre Royal Haymarket|
|Where||Theatre Royal Haymarket, 18 Suffolk Street, London, SW1Y 4HT | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Piccadilly Circus (underground)|
09 Feb 19 – 20 Jul 19, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information and tickets|