It’s been more than two decades since A Fish Called Wanda, the heist farce co-written by Monty Python’s John Cleese, was released to critical acclaim (including an Oscar for Kevin Kline) as well as surprise success at the box office. Now British comedy site Chortle (via Empire) informs us that the musical adaptation that Cleese discussed over a year ago with Steve at Sundance 2009 is inching closer to fruition. In an e-mail to fans, Cleese announced that comedian Bill Bailey would join himself and daughter Camilla to work on songs for the Wanda musical, which they hope to debut in San Diego before hitting Broadway and London’s West End. From what I have seen of Bill Bailey on the otherwise delightful sitcom Black Books and various panel game shows (Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI, etc.), I have unfortunately never found him funny. But his ubiquity on British television suggests that many others do, so here’s hoping his teaming with Cleese, an undisputable comedic genius, bears hilarious fruit.
After the jump, read the full e-mail announcement from Cleese, itself a rather droll piece of work.
Here’s Cleese’s full e-mail on the Fish Called Wanda musical:
We’ve just completed the book for the musical of A Fish Called Wanda and I’m pleased that Camilla hasn’t completely stolen all of my dignity in writing so brilliantly. She’s left me a few scraps to hang onto to keep me warm at night. Soon, we’ll start to work on the songs for the show with Bill Bailey, who, among his many achievements, is an honourary member of the Society of Crematorium Organists. This musical is destined to be a hit amongst funeral directors.’ But who would you like to see playing the immortal roles of Archie, Wanda, Otto and Ken? We’re hoping, nay, praying (perhaps in some alternate universe) that Johnny Depp might step in as Otto, but that’s about as likely as resurrecting a dead parrot. Still, we can dream, eh?