Browse reviews

Brighton Fringe 2015

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Interactive 'Theatre International

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Venue: The Thistle Hotel


Low Down

Basil, Sybil and Manuel return with a three course meal in a "rip-roaringly hilarious night out" (This is London). In true Faulty fashion, the fun starts as you wait to be seated and then hurtles along for two hours filled with all the best gags. No two shows are ever the same, expect the unexpected! Internationally acclaimed and with a year-round London West End residency too, booking is essential. "Shockingly fresh, fun and original" (New Current).


The audience was amazed when they took their places at the table to see a recreation of Basil and Sybil Faulty along with the confused and loveable Manuel, rolling over plates, messing up Basil’s bets on horses and throwing rolls and fire hydrants at the diners. It was just like the series they had loved on television and they were spellbound.  This reviewer had never seen the TV series and each antic came as a delightful surprise, but nonetheless an enjoyable and wonderful experience from the soup to the tart that finished the evening.  
the show we talked with the talented actors who recreated this series for their audience at the Thistle hotel.  Basil was played by Corin Stuart, Sybil by Suzanna Hughes and Manuel by Tony Clegg. One third of the show is scripted and the rest is created by the interaction of the actors with their audience.   “The more you do the show, the quicker you become the character,” they observed. The three of them along with several other actors in the troupe have taken Faulty Towers all over the world.  They made it very clear that they were not impersonating the people we saw on our television screens.  Each person in the cast is an actor playing a role giving his own spin on his character. In this show, each was superb. 
The show only works if the actors grab the audience in the first five minutes when they begin to serve the rolls and butter. Their advantage is that the audience wants to love them and are familiar with the personality of each character in the cast. They have seen these three wacky people in the television series and want to believe they are seeing the real thing. This particular cast was very convincing and each made his character come to life in his own way. Each became the very person we saw on TV and every member of the audience adored them.  The chemistry has to be right for interaction to work and it was obvious that the three people playing their parts had excellent skill in making this happen. They were adept at using what the audience members said and transforming their responses into part of the action.   It wasn’t easy to keep the attention of the audience focused on them instead of the marvelous food being served but they did it effortlessly….or so it seemed.
This is truly a must see for anyone who wants a marvelous meal, peppered with laughter at antics only Basil and Sybil Faulty can make happen with poor, bumbling, stumbling Manuel, protecting his hamster and misunderstanding what he is supposed to do.  The audience always makes the show and it is they who make it a different experience each night.   In this particular group, there was a couple celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary and a birthday or two to give the players material to toss back and forth.  There was not a dull moment in the show and the good thing about it is that although we all hated to see it end, we could go back and see it again, and laugh just as hard at new and unexpected   mess-ups the very skilled cast make happen.