Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Two hours of utter chaos, packed with slapstick, fast-paced action, side-splitting humour and a delicious 3-course meal

Two hours of utter chaos, packed with slapstick, fast-paced action, side-splitting humour and a delicious 3-course meal
5

Presented by: Interactive Theatre International

Reviewed: 17 February, 2024

Fringe favourite, Faulty Towers The Dining Experience returns once again in 2024. This year marks their 17th Fringe and the show celebrates its 27th year of touring worldwide, becoming one of Australia’s greatest theatre exports.

Based on the much loved TV series, Fawlty TowersFaulty Towers The Dining Experience is two hours of utter chaos, packed with slapstick, fast-paced action, side-splitting humour and a delicious 3-course meal.

The concept is simple: you, the diner, are thrown into the world of Basil, Sybil and Manuel and the mayhem of their day-to-day lives in running a hotel while a dining service unfolds around you (and sometimes right on your lap).

Be prepared to get pulled into their antics – this is interactive theatre! The show is around 60% scripted, based loosely on highlights of the original TV series. However, the magic of this show lies in the remaining 40% — all improvised interactions with the guests. The banter and patter with guests is remarkable. You do forget that these are actors playing these much loved characters.

Cameron Hurry (Basil), Gemma Galley (Sybil) and Adrian Espulso (Manuel) are exceptional. All three have mastered the voices, mannerisms and inflections of the much loved original characters to a tee. Hurry is obnoxious, rude (unless you are a VIP, which was the label I was given.Then the suck-up sweetness was there in bucket loads……must be due to the reason why I was there, much like a hotel inspector). The audiences ate it up and, being interactive theatre, often would feed Hurry to get more brashness out of him, especially the Germans on table 9. Galley was magical as Sybil. The shrill laugh echoed through the dining room and her banter with the guests (glass of wine in hand!) was magnificent. Espulso perfectly captured the puppy dog innocence of Manuel. You did feel sorry for him. All three never dropped character, even when audience members threw one-liners at them or asked them questions in the hope to trip them up.

I have seen Faulty Towers The Dining Experience several times now, and it only seems to get tighter. This cast bounced off each other wonderfully, resulting in a high-energy, chaotic two hours.

Whether you are a fan of the original TV series or not, this is a show that would appeal to anyone who enjoys interactive theatre at its finest. There is a reason why this show sells out wherever it performs. Immerse yourself for two hours at Faulty Towers and let Basil, Sybil and Manuel treat you to a dining experience that only they know how to deliver.

Reviewed by Ben Stefanoff

Photo credit: supplied

Venue: Botanical Room at The Terrace Hotel
Season: Until March 10, 2024
Duration: 2 hours
Tickets: $90 to $113 (includes a 3 course meal and show)
Bookings: https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/faulty-towers-the-dining-experience-af2024

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