Bailey joins Fish Called Wanda musical

Bill to write the songs

Bill Bailey is to work on the stage musical of A Fish Called Wanda.

John Cleese and his daughter Camilla have written the script for the project – and have now drafted in the Black Books comic to add the songs.

The Cleeses began work on the book early last year, expecting it to take up to three years to hit the stage. The plan is to debut it in San Diego, before a hopeful transfer to Broadway and London’s West End, where they hope it will emulate the success of the Monty Python musical Spamalot.

Cleese said in his email newsletter today: ‘It appears that my daughter, Camilla, is doing her best to outpace her dear old dad at every turn.

‘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.’

Meanwhile, Bailey has been shooting scenes for the new John Landis film Burke and Hare, reuniting him with Spaced stars Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes and Michael Smiley.

Coincidentally, Cleese also has a role in the Edinburgh-set movie, alongside a cast packed with comedy stars incuding Ronnie Corbett, Reece Shearsmith, Stephen Merchant, Tim Curry and Sacha Baron Cohen’s fiancée, Isla Fisher.

Bailey twittered earlier this month: ‘Just finished first days filming on Burke and Hare - great to see Simon Pegg and Michael Smiley.’

The movie, about 19th century murderers, is due out later this year.

Published: 28 Feb 2010

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