The Dining Experience
Reviewed by David Savage
We were lucky enough to get tickets for the Faulty Towers Dining Experience in London’s West End and having seen the original TV series, Fawlty Towers, many times could not wait to go. The show is currently running from 26 October – 22 December 2012.
The 2 hour dinner and show is in the new Torquay Suite at the four-star Charing Cross Hotel in London which is near The Strand and Trafalgar Square where Basil, Sybil and Manuel serve up a 3 course meal with lots of chaos and a very large portion of jaw aching fun. If you ever wondered what it would be like to dine at Faulty Towers now you can experience it for yourself.
The Charing Cross Hotel is a magnificent Victorian hotel full of splendour. On arrival for 7pm we were shown the way to the bar of The Torquay Suite where you can enjoy a drink before the show starts at 7.30. While everybody was standing around chatting and enjoying their drinks you suddenly notice that Basil is in the room having a go at poor Manuel for getting something wrong again while Sybil, Basil’s wife, is working the room chatting to guests in her shrill tones and unmistakeable piercing laugh – or as Basil calls it “someone machine-gunning a seal”. You know what the night is going to be like when Basil tells Manuel to collect everybody’s glasses and yes you guessed it, he removes spectacles from people’s faces.
You are soon directed into the dining area when the chaos begins with people being seated at the wrong tables and Sybil blaming Basil, while Basil blames Manuel.
Over the next 2 hours we were served a 3 course meal of leek soup, chicken dinner (vegetarian alternative is available if you are not normal according to Sybil) and cheesecake followed by tea and coffee all while Basil, Sybil and Manuel keep everybody entertained with their antics and getting everybody involved.
With only a third of the show scripted with sketches like finding dentures in you soup, Basil’s goose stepping silly walk and Manuel losing his pet rat you never know what is coming next especially the poor lady who Manuel said he found her knickers under the table while looking for his rat. And if Sybil finds out that it is your birthday or special occasion, be warned, she will start singing in her high pitched shrill voice.
Overall, this is a fantastic show that will have you laughing until you ache. The 3 actors are superb and even when going off script they never miss a beat. They are faultless in their acting, appearance and comedy timing that makes it very authentic and makes you feel that you are part of the original TV series. While all 3 actors are superb Manuel was my favourite as he is all getting involved in some sort of trouble partly due to his misunderstandings of the English language and his clumsiness.
With prices from £43.50 – £49.50 this is excellent value just for the show and you get a dinner as well! I highly recommend that you book tickets to see this show, it is a must see even if you have never seen Fawlty Towers before. A great show with audience participation in a luxurious setting, I can see tickets for this being sold out very quickly so book yours now! The best show I have ever seen, pure brilliance. As long as you have a sense of humour you will not be disappointed!
While we were there we did hear some people complain that the meals were small, yes they are not the largest but while it is good quality tasting food they are just part of the show. You are paying for the show rather than the meal.
For more information or to book tickets click here.
RESIDENCY FOR FAWLTY TOWERS SHOW IN LONDON'S WEST END
A globetrotting production featuring Basil, Sybil and Manuel in a ‘two-hour eat, drink and laugh sensation’ (Daily Telegraph) is opening its doors on an open-ended residency in London’s West End.
From 26 October 2012, Faulty Towers The Dining Experience creates The Torquay Suite Theatre at the four-star Charing Cross Hotel in The Strand. The show starts as the audience waits to be seated and then hurtles along for two hours of fully immersive, highly improvised and site-specific comedy theatre. With only a third of the show scripted, everything stays fresh as Basil, Sybil and Manuel serve up madcap mayhem and a three course meal.
Faulty Towers The Dining Experience opens 26 October in The Torquay Suite Theatre of the Charing Cross Hotel, The Strand, London WC2N 5HX. Tickets are available now at
LONDON – LISTINGS DETAIL
Venue:The Torquay Suite Theatre, Charing Cross Hotel, The Strand, London WC2N 5HX.
Nearest tube & rail: Charing Cross, Embankment and Waterloo.
– 7 for 7.30pm Tuesday-Sunday 26 October-22 December 2012.
– 1 for 1.30pm Saturdays & Sundays from 3 November-22 December 2012.
After a Christmas break, matinée and evening performances re-commence on 1 February 2013.
Tickets – all tickets include a three-course meal and a two-hour show:
– £43.50: Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday evenings, plus Sat-Sun matinées.
– £49.50: Friday-Saturday evenings.
– Accommodation available on application to the hotel: 0871 376 9012.
Info & bookings: 0845 1544 145 / www.interactivetheatre.com.au