Adelaide Fringe 2012
If you’re looking for wholesome laughter away from the madness of the east end of Adelaide then by all means, come and have dinner with Basil, Manuel and Sybil…if you dare! Set in Aces Bar and Bistro inside the Central Markets, what is usually not known for it’s fine dining ability is beautifully transformed into a dining experience like no other. And…with the company name Interactive Theatre International, that’s exactly what you’ll experience from beginning to end!
Whether you’ve seen the TV show or not, you’ll soon fall in hysterics with The Faulty Towers Dining Experience, and that is of course thanks to Kevin Whittle (Basil), Andrew Foreman (Manuel) and Karen Hamilton (Sybil) who all do a superb job!
As we mill about in the foyer waiting to be seated, we are given our first glimpse of what is to be expected when inside. Manuel, the bumbling foreign, yet humbled servant-waiter attempts to ensure we are all well looked after as he is asked to “circulate the nuts” around the guests. This of course sends Manuel into a frenzy as he runs around the whole of the audience clutching his try of nuts and often pushing guests off their seats!
Once inside the madness continues! Some of us are directly caught in the firing line of the gags, being pulled from out seats when Manuel confuses the word ‘Sapphire’ with ‘it’s a fire’ while others are sat on, told off, find surprises in their food and more!
The cast make a great attempt at trying to engage all audience members and giving each table a mini show however, I felt that this was not achieved to its absolute maximum as some tables were left out altogether and could only observe the antics, rather than having the ability to be directly involved. At times the voices of the actors were too low with even nearby tables struggling to hear what was being said. Also, with a bit of work, some of the gags could be tighter in delivery to keep the timing and pace up.
Despite this, there was enough in the show to keep you laughing all night long and thanks to the actual waiters and bar staff, guests were served their meals and drinks without problems.
Whittle’s portrayal as Basil was indeed a stand out as he played both the highly stressed and clearly frustrated boss fearful of his wife! Great physicality and pushing his body to it’s extreme was fun to watch.
Foreman as Manuel was at times very funny and certainly using his size for many gags with taller audience members.
Hamilton’s portrayal as Sybil was also good. The demeanor of the character was well delivered and she certainly knew how to scream out that bone-chilling ‘Bas….il!’
Overall a solid performance that will leave you in stitches!
For a bit of a twist, catch this one if you can!