There aren’t many occasions in life when you purposely pay to have a bad-tempered welcome, naff waiter service and eat the kind of food that you’d hoped to forget from the Seventies. But Faulty Towers The Dining Experience (not a typo- the misspelling deliberately distinguishes the show from Fawlty Towers the TV sitcom) is one of those rare moments.
For two hours, an uncanny Basil, Sybil and Manuel serve up a supersized portion of mayhem with a side of all your favourite Fawlty moments. Over three courses of traditional Seventies fare (don’t worry- there’s no waldorf salad in sight), you can practically tick off the classic comedy moments that still make us laugh all these years since the Fawlties first floundered onto our screens.
As you might expect, Manuel still knows nothing, Sybil’s laugh hasn’t got any more bearable and Basil certainly, most definitely isn’t mentioning the war.
But a chance to relive the TV series isn’t the only draw of this uniquely bonkers production. You also get the fun of personalised, off-script rudeness from the cast- your own small moment of Basil abuse while you slurp your tinned soup. With lightning fast wits, the actors really are masters of the ad lib, even if they haven’t quite got to grips with the art of hosting yet.
While charming isn’t usually a word you’d associate with the rudest hoteliers in popular culture, this show somehow manages to be exactly that. It’s a harmless, hilarious feast of comedy, free from any of the embarrassment or fear that might usually put you off such "immersive" theatre shows.
It’s truly an experience and one that- terribly for your digestion- encourages you to eat, laugh, meet new people and reminisce all at the same time. A must-see for all Fawlty fans- just no "riff-raff" allowed!
- Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is at the Amba Hotel Charing Cross, London, as well as tour venues around the UK. Find out more at www.faultytowers-uk.com. You can book ticket packages for two from Buyagift here.
- There's more what's on ideas in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.