Blackadder - Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson (Photo courtesy of the BBC), Ben Elton

Is Blackadder heading to the West End stage? Ben Elton considers Blackadder The Play based on the classic BBC comedy

Ben Elton is planning to adapt his classic BBC comedy Blackadder for the stage.

Co-written by Ben Elton and Richard Curtis, Blackadder ran for four hugely successful series on the BBC, starring Rowan Atkinson as Edmund Blackadder and Tony Robinson as his trusty sidekick Baldrick.

Other regulars included Rik Mayall, Miranda Richardson, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry.

Now, Ben has spoken about wanting to collaborate with Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral) on the new stage show for Blackadder, with a brand new storyline for the theatre production.

Ben Elton told the Sun newspaper that, “a Blackadder play, if Richard was keen on it, I’d be interested. Not an adaptation of episodes, it would be an original play.”

Elton commented that if the original stars wanted to appear in the show, including Rowan Atkinson, and co-stars Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Tony Robinson, it would be “up to them”.

No decisions on a stage adaptation would be made without approval from Ben Elton, Richard Curtis, Rowan Atkinson, and the TV show’s original producer, John Lloyd.

The four series of Blackadder on the BBC saw Rowan Atkinson playing Machiavellian figure Edmund Blackadder, alongside with his trusty (sometimes) sidekick Baldrick. Each series was set in a different era, from the Middle Ages to the Elizabethan era, and World War One.

Talk of the screen-to-stage adaptation comes on the heels of John Cleese’s new stage adaptation of his classic comedy Fawlty Towers. The new stage comedy, Fawlty Towers The Play, is currently running at the Apollo Theatre in London, with a script written by Cleese based on three episodes of the sitcom.

Also new to the West End is a stage adaptation of hit BBC comedy Inside No. 9. Coming to the Wyndham’s Theatre in January 2025, the new show – Inside No. 9 Stage/Fright – is written by and will star Inside No. 9’s creators Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith.

Other BBC comedies that have been turned into successful stage shows include Only Fools and Horses, which became a hit West End musical and is returning to London this Christmas, playing the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith from 17 December 2024. This year, Only Fools and Horses is also touring the UK.

Ben Elton is no stranger to the West End stage. His BBC comedy Upstart Crow about William Shakespeare and his family became a hit stage play, playing the West End in 2020 and 2022.

Elton also penned the book to smash-hit Queen musical We Will Rock You, which ran for over 12 years in the West End.

Ben Elton is back out on the road this autumn 2024 on a major new stand-up tour Ben Elton – Authentic Stupidity., which he is performing in 60 theatres across the UK.

Book tickets to Fawlty Towers The Play at the Apollo Theatre in London

More about Ben Elton – Authentic Stupidity

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📷 Main photo: Blackadder - Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson (Photo courtesy of the BBC), Ben Elton

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