Costume thumbnail 1
Costume thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 55, Clore Study Area

Costume

mid 1970s (made)

This waiter costume with characteristic bow tie was worn by German-born Andrew Sachs (1930-2016) as Spanish Manuel on the BBC sitcom series Fawlty Towers (1975-1979). Manuel was a constantly-confused waiter whose limited English skills led to many of the show’s comedic moments. Written by and starring John Cleese and Connie Booth, Fawlty Towers follows the fiascos of reluctant hotel manager Basil Fawlty, his strong-willed wife Sybil, confused waiter Manuel and maid Polly. The show became one of the most iconic and celebrated British comedy shows, winning three BAFTAs and two nominations including one for Sachs’ performance.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 4 parts.

  • Jacket
  • Trousers
  • Bow Tie
  • Braces
Materials and Techniques
Cotton, synthetic material for trousers.
Brief Description
Waiter's costume consisting of a white jacket, black trousers and black bow tie worn by Andrew Sachs as Manuel in Fawlty Towers, 1975 to 1979
Physical Description
The white jacket has a formal lapel, comes to the waist and has six buttons on both front panels. The jacket closes with two linked buttons. The trousers are formal black trousers with a satin ribbon on the side seams and are held up by suspenders. The bow tie is made of a plain fixed bow and strap to tie around the neck.
Credit line
Given by Kate Sachs
Object history
The costume was held by Andrew Sachs until his death, at which point his daughter Kate donated it to the Museum.
Summary
This waiter costume with characteristic bow tie was worn by German-born Andrew Sachs (1930-2016) as Spanish Manuel on the BBC sitcom series Fawlty Towers (1975-1979). Manuel was a constantly-confused waiter whose limited English skills led to many of the show’s comedic moments. Written by and starring John Cleese and Connie Booth, Fawlty Towers follows the fiascos of reluctant hotel manager Basil Fawlty, his strong-willed wife Sybil, confused waiter Manuel and maid Polly. The show became one of the most iconic and celebrated British comedy shows, winning three BAFTAs and two nominations including one for Sachs’ performance.
Collection
Accession Number
S.604:1 to 4-2019

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record createdSeptember 6, 2019
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