Regarded as being one of the greatest comedies of all time, the iconic Fawlty Towers has retained its iconic status among popular entertainment. Only 12 episodes were ever filmed and aired, however sometimes it’s a case of quality over quantity. Created and performed by both John Cleese and Connie Booth the comedy situated in a fictional hotel and poking fun at the fickle world of customer service forms the ideal basis for a modern day dining experience.
Walk past the Kingsway Hall Hotel in Covent Garden and you wouldn’t bat an eyelid, however, if you were to walk through its doors and have an evening meal in its Harlequin restaurant then it’s a case of experiencing a 3 course meal with a difference. Diners gather around the bar, speculation and questions form the evening’s initial soundscape. The drama begins as Manuel clumsily carries out orders given by Basil Fawlty. There’s a feeling of the unknown, especially as audience members are allocated to certain tables, allowing for interactivity not only with the cast but fellow diners creating a friendly atmosphere. What’s clear is that this evening will pay homage to the world renowned show. Slapstick is paramount to making the evening a success and true to form.
The notion of audience participation is enough to scare many, however the cast are careful not to push the boundaries to the point of making diners feel uncomfortable. The 3 person cast deliver the iconic characters of Sybil, Basil and Manuel with ease. Although the show stays true to it’s 1975 counterpart, it’s easy to imagine stepping foot inside a seaside situated hotel and potentially running into characters not to dissimilar to Sybil and Basil today. Basil’s standoffish nature vs Sybil’s Strong and well organised persona are a recipe for laughs. A few of the sketches fly over my head however this show is created for those who appreciate the show. The show runs at 2 hours long however time flies due to the evening’s relaxed nature. Food is served, however initially (intentionally) not to a great standard in terms of timings. We are left to eat and talk, and the drama happens around us as we have finish each course. Scenes intertwine however these can tend to go on longer than needed.
This dining experience is a smart way to tie in a theatrical experience with dinner. This will particularly appeal to a generation accustomed to this sitcom or fans of the iconic comedy. The food is delicious, a Butternut Squash starter, Roast Chicken Main and Chocolate Mousse Desert work wonderfully to add smiles on faces. 3.5/5
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
The Faulty Towers Dining Experience is being performed until Saturday 29th April. For more information on the experience, visit here…