It may surprise you to learn that Fawlty Towers, ranked first on a list of 100 Greatest British Television Programmes, had just two series of six episodes in 1975 and 1979. The power of the show, written by John Cleese and Connie Booth, was in its character creation. From the pomposity of Basil Fawlty to his bossy wife Sybil, to the hapless, linguistically challenged Spanish waiter Manuel, the trio cast a spell in their unforgettable ways. Which is why, decades later, I found myself sat in The President Hotel, Bloomsbury about to enjoy the Faulty Towers Dining Experience.
The plot of the original TV series was the Fawlty’s attempts to run a hotel amidst farcical situations – and so the dining experience is much the same. This is a two-hour interactive production set in a restaurant where the audience are the diners who enjoy a 3-course dinner. Now, I’ve got to admit I didn’t think the food would be up to much (thinking the theatrical would take precedence) and I’m pleased to say: I was wrong. The meal was delicious.
But what was even more delicious, was the constant entertainment from the Faulty’s and Manuel. I laughed non-stop. My fellow diners cried with laughter. I can’t even begin to describe the things that made me laugh (because on paper I’m sure they don’t make sense unless you are there!) but suffice it to say this is situational slapstick comedy. You will be involved (whether you like it or not) and you should be prepared to get involved. The actors are wonderful at improvising and making every member of the audience feel catered for in their own unique way.
This is not a meal you attend if you want to have a serious chat, this is an experience you enjoy because you want to be entertained. Think of it as immersive theatre with a meal chucked in and you’d be along the right lines. If you want to eat and laugh, I’d totally recommend the Faulty Towers Dining Experience. www.faultytowersdining.com
Reviewer: Samantha Collett
Reviewed: 4th February 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★