Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience {Adelaide Fringe 2024} – Theatre Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

It’s no doubt that if you hear the name Basil you’ll instantly think of a lanky, tweed jacket wearing, English gentleman who runs a shonky countryside hotel. That’d be Basil Fawlty, the lead character in the hit 70’s TV show Fawlty Towers and the inspiration for Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience, a hilarious dinner and show event that will have you in stitches.

Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience is the perfect fusion of entertainment and dining, putting you into the dining room as chaos erupts around you with Basil, his wife Sybil and keen but clueless waiter Manuel try to ensure everyone has a top quality meal, and top quality service!

As the crowd arrived and grew in the bar area, collecting their chosen beverages for the 1.5 hour show, the excitement grew. The start of the show sneaks up on you, as Manuel appears in the crowd, shortly followed by Basil and it’s off and running! As Basil barks orders at Manuel, the tasks seem to get lost in translation, which leads to many laugh out loud moments.

After much hilarity, the diners are shown to their seats, with much confusion and mayhem with random table numbers, not enough seats at tables, and cutlery all jumbled up, some people with 2 forks and no knives, and even one person with only spoons! I loved these finer little details and how much they added to the show and really immersed you in the experience.

Our cast for the evening consisted of Jed McKinney as Basil, Gemma Drummond as Sybil, and taking on the role of Manuel is Sean Harrison. The trio worked together so well with great energy and comedic timing. The show has a vague story line, but is predominantly improvisation, including plenty of audience participation. This means no show will ever be the same, and the audience’s reactions can dictate the direction of the show! It’s honestly the perfect recipe of entertaining mayhem which is evident from its 25 plus years of touring.

What would be a dining experience without the meal! We were treated to a three course meal featuring an entrée of Thai spiced Pumpkin coconut cream soup, succulent Grilled Chicken Breast with a pearl barley salad and gravy. Dessert consisted of the ‘Terrace Mess’, a lemon cream topped with brownie, fresh berries, honeycomb and floss. All of this was absolutely delicious and way better than expected, I’ve had some pretty shabby dinner and show meals before (I’m looking at you Medieval Times)!

While there were a few props used, such as a ‘hamster’ in a cage, a stuffed fish and a fire extinguisher, I really wish there was some effort put into dressing up the dining room to suit the show a little more. Just some set pieces that could give the room a little more of the Fawlty Towers vibe and character, rather than the stark and lifeless modern dining room we are given.

It’s so easy to see why this experience has such a following! My mother-in-law has been to the show the last 4 years straight and absolutely loves it. Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience is the perfect night out for a group of friends or a family gathering. Grab plenty of drinks and strap in for a wild ride, you won’t be disappointed!

Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience is now playing at Adelaide Fringe in the Botanical Room at The Terrace Hotel Adelaide until March 10.
For more information and ticketing, visit:
https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/faulty-towers-the-dining-experience-af2024
https://www.interactivetheatre.com.au/faulty-towers-the-dining-experience

Photography supplied.

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