Presented by Interactive Theatre International
Reviewed 04 July 2019
The Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is brash, witty, chaotic and utterly unpredictable. This unconventional show follows its long and successful run in Australia with the production being in its 22nd year of operation.
Based on the 1970’s television show, the characters directly engage with the audience rather than traditional dinner theatre which would be a meal while watching a show with a proscenium arch. The first interaction the audience came into contact with was in the foyer, with Mr Faulty himself greeting the audience as they milled about outside the dining room waited to be ushered in. It was clear from this early point that the actors not only were going to be unforgiving but also uncompromising toward the audience.
The actors themselves were uncannily close to the characters they were portraying; physically, characteristically and their accents were spot on. What reinforced the profound similarities was the way the actors conducted themselves toward the audience. Basil was brash and intolerant, Sybil was nice yet invasive and Manuel was as hapless as ever. The diners were sure of this because of how often and how familiar the actors became with the audience members even whilst we were enjoying our meals. Be it engaging in full conversations, hovering and sniping whilst everyone was eating or simply climbing over people to stand on the table, the cast were enthusiastic and prepared to do so.
What made the evening for this reviewer was the way the audience was keen to engage in the frivolities. There were insults and dismissive comments, ostracising and invasion of privacy but in the end the audience lapped it up. They were willing and able to laugh at themselves and encouraged the cast to go further. They thoroughly enjoyed some classic material from the show and were delighted when the cast played on what script content the audience already knew and loved, so they could further engage with the audience. Held in the company’s traditional home in Adelaide, The Stamford Plaza, the quality of the food and service was predictably good, which always helps with a dinner show.
A pleasant and enjoyable night.
Reviewed by Simon Lancione
Rating out of 5: 4
One Night Only – Season ended
Please note: Faulty Towers The Dining Experience will return to Adelaide for the 2020 Fringe – so watch out for when the Fringe attractions are announced to find out when and where to get your ‘Basil!’ on!!