Following in the footsteps of other British situation comedies such as Fawlty Towers, Yes Prime Minister and The Vicar of Dibley, the classic British comedy, The Good Life, is set to become a stage play premiering at Theatre Royal Bath as part of their 2020 Summer Season, running from Thursday 4th June through Saturday 20th June. This seems so right considering the fact that The Good Life is probably more relevant today from a storyline standpoint of individual sustainability than when it premiered on BBC1 in April 1975.
According to the British Comedy Guide, the John Esmonde and Bob Larbey iconic sitcom premise is being adapted for the stage by Jeremy Sams, who has previously worked on Noises Off, the production Spend, Spend, Spend and the international tour of The Sound of Music. The play will feature newly created stories alongside some of the TV sitcom’s classic moments.
The Good Life, which ran on BBC TV from 1975 to 1978 and has continued on public television stations for decades starred Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal as Tom and Barbara Good with Paul Eddington and Penelope Keith as their middle-class neighbors Jerry and Margo Leadbetter.
While casting for the key roles have yet to be announced, it has been confirmed that Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, Doc Martin, The Old Guys, Whites) will take on the role of Barbara Good. Producers describe the new play “…as one that celebrates a time when, whatever our differences, we still managed to get on with our neighbors.”
Thankfully, regional theatre is alive and well in the UK. It’s a common sight to walk past virtually any theatre in any city outside London and see a familiar name of your favorite British comedy or drama star. Over the years, the Theatre Royal Bath is a perfect example having seen the likes of both Penelope Keith and Felicity Kendal grace the stage. Just recently, walking through Bath, I saw a sign for Martin Smith (Inspector George Gently) starring in Gaslight.
If you love regional theatre and find yourself in or around Bath, tickets are available via theatreroyal.org.uk