The West End stage show launches next month with a script and score written by sitcom creator John Sullivan’s son Jim – and music from Chas and Dave.
Ahead of curtain up, the market trader brothers reunited with beloved characters including Grandad, Trigger, Mickey Pearce, Denzil, Raquel and Cassandra for the photoshoot.
And Jim Sullivan revealed the production is a labour of love first thought up by his late father during the award-winning series’ original run.
He said: “My dad had been considering adapting the series to a musical for many years but sadly never got to fully commit to it.
“When we began developing the idea back in 2015, the first thing I did was to search my dad’s notes. I knew from talking with him that he wanted to base the story around the Dates episode, in which Del and Raquel first met – his personal favourite – and I found snippets of ideas he’d written down and a two-page opening scene.
“A few months later I was helping my mum clear out the garage when I came across an old cassette tape with the words This Time Next Year written on it.
“We played the song and there was Chas and Dave, as Del and Rodney, belting out: “We’re gonna be all right, the good times are on their way”.
“So we had the beginning of an opening scene and what I felt would make a great uplifting final song. Our job then was to fill in the middle bit.”
Sadly Chas and Dave pianist Chas Hodges, did not live to see his tune make the West End stage, having died of cancer in September.
The show tells how Del sets out to find his soulmate as dippy younger brother Rodney prepares to tie the knot with Cassandra.
And Only Fools fans will be delighted to see characters including Nag’s Head landlord Mike Fisher, dodgy car trader Boycie, his wife Marlene and Del’s pal Denzil.
And the cast includes comedy legend Paul Whitehouse as Grandad, Phoneshop‘s Tom Bennett as Derek and Ryan Hutton as Rodney.
Jim said: “Nobody could ever replace the original cast, especially the original trio of Sir David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst and Lennard Pearce, and so we haven’t been searching for mere look-a-likes.
“It was important to us that we cast actors who can embrace the roles, but also make them their own.
“The cast that we’ve put together is fantastic and will do just that.
“Writing the musical was a big challenge.
“The world of Only Fools is so rich with characters and history, it spanned over two decades and included births, deaths and marriages. We wanted to stay faithful to the original material as much as possible.
“The characters, plots and themes were already there, so it was a case of reweaving them, and within a slightly different timeline, into our story.”
Road sweeper Trigger is played by Peter Baker who boasts several theatre credits to his name.
Newcomer Ryan Hutton plays younger Trotter Rodney. Previous credits include shows at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Denzil is played by Adrian Irvine.
He has appeared in Coronation Street, Soldier Soldier and EastEnders.
Comedy great Paul Whitehouse plays loveable Grandad.
The 60-year-old is best known by fans for The Fast Show as well as playing DJ Mike Smash in Harry Enfield And Chums.
Rodney’s best mate Mickey Pearce is played by Chris Kiely.
He played Vernon Wilton in Doctors and a role in cult E4 hit Skins.
Theatre roles include Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and The Lady Killers.
Tom Bennett takes on the mantle of cheeky wheelerdealer Derek Trotter.
He had a part in Ricky Gervais’s hit movie David Brent: Life On The Road but has also appeared in EastEnders and Silent Witness.
Dianne Pilkington plays Del’s future significant other Raquel in the stage show.
Her previous credits include a role in 2012’s Les Miserables and The Wolf Man.
Pippa Duffy, Rodney’s better half Cassandra, is best known as Alan Partridge’s sidekick Zoe in Mid-Morning Matters.
Other telly credits include Casualty and Silent Witness.
Second hand car salesman Boycie is played by Jeff Nicholson.
His film credits include Les Miserables, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Angels And Demons and Sweeney Todd.
Samantha Seager plays Marlene in the musical.
Her previous roles include extended runs on Coronation Street, The Hello Girls, The Bill, Casualty, Doctors and Little Britain.