What: Faulty Towers The Dining Experience
Where: Kingsway Hotel in Covent Garden
Who: A live experience of the classic British television show Fawlty Towers
When: See Performance Schedule way below
Why: Because you’ll laugh until your belly aches, plus you’ll have a very enjoyable meal!
Fawlty Towers was a hit British television show that ran for only two season, in 1975 and 1979, yet to this day it’s still talked about because of it’s extreme physical comedy that the characters did as part of their roles. The show centered on characters in a fictional hotel in the seaside town of Torquay. First off there is owner Basil Fawlty – a true Englishman – and his wife Sybil, who orders him around but she’s the one who wears the pants in the relationship. And then there is Manuel – a short in stature Spanish waiter who practically speaks no English and gets the instructions from Basil all wrong. If you want to experience the television show live then the Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is for you.
Me and a friend went recently on a Sunday and it was hilarious! Taking place in the dining room at Kingsway Hotel in Covent Garden, the Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is interactive and immersive theatre at it’s best. Of course there is a meal that’s included in the experience, but it’s all about the show that is unravelling (and falling apart) right before your very eyes as you’re tucking into your leek and potato soup – that is if Manuel hasn’t taken it from you.
The show starts immediately when Basil (played by Benedict Holme) tells Manuel (Anthony Clegg as an exact replica to the Manuel played by Andrew Sachs) to take the glasses away, of course Manuel takes people’s glasses off their faces and not the drink glasses! Then Basil tells Manuel to pass out the peanuts, so Manuel literally passes out the peanuts. It’s one thing after another, and once you sit down in the Faulty restaurant it’s only a matter of time until Manual interferes with you – he turns your napkin into a bib, tosses rolls around the room, does somersaults, and spends the entire time misunderstanding and misinterpreting everything Basils says. Lucky for us it’s Sybil (Suzanna Hughes) who manages, a bit, to keep the entire dinner from melting into complete chaos! It’s very physical comedy, but it’s also physical for the attendee because you’re laughing very hard and out loud too! It was the unlucky few who found set of teeth in their soup – gags like this that make the whole thing hilariously fun and funny! No person is spared, and god forbid if you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary – you will get a special gift from Sybil – and boy is it special! It’s an experience that you will not forget – just don’t mention the war!!!
It was a treat to be transported back to the 1970’s with being part of Faulty Towers The Dining Experience. The trepidation that you might be picked on was real and you almost expect the soup to end up on your lap? Sybil was so like the television character down to the scary laugh, while Manuel was brilliant and made the whole show so very reminiscent of the television snow. What a great way to spend a two and a half hours – to be part of this experience makes me want to watch the television series now.
Tickets for the Faulty Towers The Dining Experience can be bought here:
If you have any questions on the show, there is a Frequently Asked Questions on the first page.
The London shows, held in the Torquay Suite Theatre at the Kingsway Hall Hotel in Covent Garden, are held throughout the year, while there is also a version that tours the UK as well as Australia and the rest of the world. Yes, this is how popular this show is – continuously playing much to the delight of the television show’s fans – it’s the world’s most successful comedy dining show of it’s kind and now it’s time for you to experience yourself too! It’s a live experience by the Fawlty’s that’s very faulty!
Dinner Thursday-Saturday: 7:30pm for 8:00pm
Dinner Sunday: 6:30pm for 7:00pm
Lunch Saturday-Sunday: 1pm for 1:30pm
Dinner Thursday-Saturday: 7:00pm for 7:30pm
Dinner Sunday: 6:00pm for 6:30pm
Lunch Saturday-Sunday: 1pm for 1:30pm
Photos provided by Imagination Workshop
Article by Tim Baros