Stick a pony in your pocket, fetch the suitcase from the van… and head to the West End next February where BBC comedy classic Only Fools and Horses is being resurrected as a musical.
Fast Show legend Paul Whitehouse has co-written the stage version and will play Grandad in the revival, with Tom Bennett (David Brent: Life on the Road) as wheeler-dealer Del Boy Trotter and Ryan Hutton (I Am Vengeance) as his hapless younger brother Rodney.
Most of the supporting characters will also appear, including Raquel, Cassandra, Boycie, Marlene, Trigger, Denzil, Mickey Pearce, Mike and the Driscoll Brothers. Though not, it seems, Uncle Albert, who did not arrive in the series until the departure of Grandad.
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And there will be 20 new songs, written by Whitehouse and co-writer Jim Sullivan, son of Only Fools creator the late John Sullivan, whose own music and that contributed by Chas Hodges of Chas ’n’ Dave fame, will also be included.
Directed by Caroline Jay Ranger (Early Doors Live), Only Fools and Horses The Musical will combine scenes from the original TV shows with new material.
“The world may have changed a lot since we first bid a jovial ‘au revoir’ to the Trotters of Peckham, but now we can go back and good old Del Boy, Rodney and the rest of the gang haven’t changed a bit,” said the producers.
“Set in 1989 in Peckham – obviously – Del Boy embarks on the rocky road to love with Raquel, Rodney ties the knot with Cassandra and Grandad finally gets his piles sorted. London is in the grip of great change, and the Trotter’s traditional working-class values are at risk of being elbowed out, as the yuppies take over the city. Grandad sings ‘Where have all the Cockneys gone?’ in the treasured Nag’s Head, and Del wonders if the notorious mantra he lives by– ‘this time next year, we’ll be millionaires’ – will ever come true for hard-working born and bred east-enders, as the musical celebrates feel-good family traditions, and the aspirations we all share in making our dreams more than mere pie in the sky.”
Only Fools and Horses ran on the BBC for 64 episodes and 16 specials. Starring David Jason as Del Boy, Nicholas Lyndhurst as Rodney, Lennard Pearce as Grandad and Buster Merryfield as Uncle Albert it became one of the most cherished sitcoms this country has ever produced.