Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Faulty Towers The Dining Experience
Interactive Theatre Australia
Venue: b’est restaurant, Edinburgh
Festival: Edinburgh Fringe
Faulty Towers dining experience is back at B’est restaurant again, taking Edinburgh by storm and selling out even more shows than last year.
The concept of the show is to recreate the ‘Faulty Towers’ experience for the audience as they are served a lunchtime or evening meal. Three actors play the snappy Basil, baffled Manuel and intensely shrill Sybil. The performances are incredibly studied and very well acted – the voices honed to brusque perfection as the action and chaos unfolds.
A largely middle aged audience reflected those who were undoubtedly fans of the TV show in the 70’s, but a surprising stag party of young twenty somethings seemed to enjoy the evening immensely and behaved themselves very well despite repeated baiting by Basil (much to the relief of the cast I can imagine, who had no choice but to tease the group’s ‘suit effect t-shirts’!) As I’m sure they do every night, the entire audience entered into the spirit of the piece with gusto, playing along with Basil’s unpleasantness and screaming appropriately at Manuel’s pet ‘hamster’!
Some choice scenes specifically taken from the TV show are dotted amongst the general chaos of serving 84 people their food at the same time, and upon discovering my name and realising I was the reviewer in that night, I was quickly cast as the hotel inspector, and Basil’s toadying reached fever pitch!
This show does not pretend to be anything other than what it is – it is a skillfully produced and well acted imitation of a much loved TV series, and the audiences seem to lap up the gimmick. It is a great evening out, but I feel a little overpriced for what you get – the food portions really are quite small, and the lack of vegetables with the meal disappointing. However, as it’s full every night the credit crunch clearly hasn’t affected the hallowed halls of Faulty Towers Dining Experience and I am sure they will be back next year after their mammoth UK tour.