Faulty Towers the Dining Experience

Running since 1997, Faulty Towers the Dining Experience has become a Fringe staple and international success. This year, Interactive Theatre International bring a new cast to B’est Restaurant in Edinburgh and give the show a new lease on life. Benedict Holme, Suzanna Hughes and Oliver Harrison (as Basil, Sybil, and Manuel respectively) re-create our favourite characters to an extraordinary level of detail, whether it is restaurant owner and waiter running circles round each other, or in their interactions with individual audience members.

A multi-sensory experience, from the smell of the food, to the noise of smashing plates in the kitchen and the cramped tables

The food service is exactly what you would expect from eating at Fawlty Towers, but with a surprisingly tasty three-course meal (although after my dismay at finding the chef’s dentures in my soup, they kindly replaced it). Just when you are focused on eating and there is a lull, another hilarious interaction between characters, or character and audience member strikes up again, causing rolls of laughter to flood the restaurant. Perhaps the most amusing part of the experience is watching other audience members getting uptight about their food being messed around with, asking for condiments etc, and facing the wrath of Basil Fawlty and incompetence of Manuel.

At times it is difficult to see, as the restaurant is quite cramped, but that only adds to the immersion of the experience. You really do feel like you have been transported into John Cleese and Connie Booth’s much-loved BBC series. Though it must be stated that Cleese and Booth have nothing to do with the Dining Experience and in a BBC article in March, stated that he thought it was a “shameless rip-off”.

It really is a multi-sensory experience, from the smell of the food, to the noise of smashing plates in the kitchen and the cramped tables, Faulty Towers the Dining Experience is not for the faint-hearted, or for those who have never heard of Fawlty Towers, but is a two-hour extravaganza of food, fun and laughter. 

Reviews by Rose Reade

Pleasance Dome

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★★★★
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Suzi Ruffell: Common

★★★★
Pleasance Dome

Children and Animals

★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Nina Conti: In Your Face

★★★★★
C venues - C

The Interference

★★★★★
B'est Restaurant

Faulty Towers the Dining Experience

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Basil, Sybil and Manuel return to serve yet more mayhem and a three-course meal in this ‘two hour eat, drink and laugh sensation’ (Daily Telegraph). The fun starts as you wait to be seated. From then on, expect the unexpected because only a third of the show is scripted. ‘Make no mistake, there is so much ad-libbing, improvisation, and magical moments here, that Faulty Towers is definitely a more than once must dine experience. No two shows are alike.’ (Independent Daily) Internationally acclaimed and with a London West End residency too, booking is essential.