Expect to be shocked, mocked and laugh until your chest aches. You’ve guessed it – the Faulty (yes, it’s supposed to be misspelt) Towers Dining Experience is in town. Now fans have the opportunity to be part of the beloved 1975 British cult classic.
The 2-hour interactive theatre show, created by Interactive Theatre International in Australia, has continued to wow audiences at sell out shows around the world. I had the pleasure of dining at the Faulty Towers Dining Experience last week and what a chaotically orchestrated performance it was!
After checking into the Torquay Suite Theatre at the Charing Cross Hotel we were ushered to the hotel bar to enjoy pre-dinner drinks and wait for the fun to start. The unmistakably shrill shriek of “BAS-IL!!!!” from Sybil echoed throughout the hotel as her neurotic husband greeted guests and frantically made preparations for dinner.
As expected, the evening was a comedy of errors and hilarious misinterpretations from start to finish. “Manuel can you please collect the glasses from our guests?” Basil demanded leaving the incompetent, yet rather charming Manuel, clumsily fluttered between guests in the bar collecting their spectacles instead of wine glasses. He then proceeded to “serve” the nuts tennis style, much to Basil’s horror: “You’ll have to forgive him. He’s from Barcelona,” he remarked.
Finally, our names were called out to be seated by an impatient Basil who expressed disgust at the unassuming guests’ casual sporting attire: “Nice to see you dressed up for the occasion!”
The three-course meal was cleverly orchestrated with theatrical displays throughout the evening. Without spoiling the surprise, you can expect to enjoy plenty of loosely recreated classic scenes from the iconic series – how could we forget the pet rat, the goose-stepping and of course, the Hitler impersonation? Plus, only a third of the show is scripted so every performance guarantees a unique experience and plenty of surprises.
The service (true to form) was terrible; everything that could go wrong did but I would have been disappointed otherwise and although the food was by no means haute cuisine I didn’t go away unsatisfied. However, be careful what you ask for or you may find that instead of butter you get a “head butt” and instead of more wine you lose half off your table! But this is all part of the fun of the night.
The performances did not disappoint. The three star cast nailed the appearance, mannerisms and speech of the characters made famous by John Cleese, Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs. Basil mastered the short fuse of Cleese inherent in the sitcom taking out most of his angst out on the hopeless language-challenged Manuel (and occasionally some of the guests!). Sybil played the role brilliantly showing her dominance over her husband in their somewhat tumultuous marriage and the only ingredient that seemed to be missing was Polly, another of the show’s favourites.
This really is a must for Fawlty Towers fans, as well as everyone else, who’ll enjoy a brilliantly funny night of entertainment and often side-splitting humour. Just don’t mention the war!
Service: 1/10 (as expected – it is Faulty Towers after all!)