Faulty Towers — The Dining Experience


“This is full of cliched situations and stereotypical characters and I cannot see it as being anything other than a disaster,” said Jimmy Gilbert, the BBC executive who first read the script of Fawlty Towers.

Similar thoughts crossed my mind before the Faulty Towers Dining Experience began as we waited nervously by the bar.

I had no idea what to expect of my first immersive theatre experience, and my inner introvert was a little terrified.

Turns out immersing yourself in cliches and TV icons, brilliantly portrayed by the talented cast, is a perfect recipe for a hilarious night out (for wallflowers and show ponies alike).

The entrance of Manuel (perfectly performed by Andrew Foreman) was understated, as the confused waiter creeps in, confiscating wine glasses and throwing around canapes (peanuts, of course) only to be interrupted by the cry of “Mannnnnnuuel, pick up your nuts” by Basil (performed by Cleese’s doppelganger Paul O’Neill) marking the beginning of the show.

The crowd warmed up from quiet giggles to hearty roars of laughter by the end of the night (the wine helped).

Even for a novice Fawlty fan like myself, I appreciated all the classic Fawlty moments (a rogue rat, I mean Siberian hamster, on the loose was my favourite).

Yet the highlights were the improvised moments with the audience — the spontaneous outbursts from a very enthusiastic lady, fed perfectly into the theme of a raucous dinner party.

The venue (Rigby’s Underground Bar) was underwhelming and the food was basic but tasty.

Bring your friends, your parents or — as we did — bond with new friends over chaotic dining scenes.

Tickets are pricey (alcohol is excluded), but for those wanting an unforgettable night out, it’s worth the extra pennies.

You aren’t there for the food or the decor; rather being part of an immersive theatre is all about being in the moment, letting go of preconceptions and … being ready to run when Basil starts shouting “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-FIRE”.

Faulty Towers Dining Experience runs until February 19.

Love the show? Have your say!


Review by Shaeron Yapp on 12 Dec 2017

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