Saturday, 24 March 2018

The Faulty Towers Dining Experience - laughs galore!

The Faulty Towers Dining Experience
We all need an escape from the chores of everyday life. We need to let our hair down and laugh. A beaut way of doing this is to go to The Faulty Towers Dining Experience currently being presented at the Sydney Opera House.

The production is based on the Faulty Towers TV show that first aired in 1972, written by and starring John Cleese. The Faulty Towers Dining Experience is a wonderful combination of a three-course meal and live theatre show.

The venue is the Utzon Room at the Sydney Opera House which has been transformed into an intimate dining room just like the British dining room of the Fawlty Towers Hotel in the seaside town of Torquay.

I first saw The Faulty Towers Dining Experience at the Sydney Opera House in 2013 with my wife. This time I took one of my daughters to see it. We were both very impressed with this production and had a hilarious night out.

The show starts as people gather around the bar before being seated, and continues on as the guests are welcomed and escorted to their seats at one of the ten tables. During the next two hours, the laughs are presented between and during the serving of the three courses.

There are only 3 actors involved in the production, but they all produce enough laughs as if there was a cast of 30. Luke McGibney portrays the hotel owner Basil Faulty, Rhian McLean plays his wife Sybil, and Andy Foreman portrays the Spanish waiter Manuel. Each has mastered the speech, emotions and characteristics of the TV stars to perfection. 

Basil is gruff, rude and short-tempered with the dining room guests and Sybil is kept busy apologizing to the all the guests. Manuel has continual trouble understanding the Engish language by doing literally what he is asked to do. To me, the star of the night was Andy as Manuel. He was brilliant. The comic timing of the three actors is to perfection and the laughs come non-stop.

The Faulty Towers Dining Experience
In each performance, there are segments based on episodes of the TV series, such as Manuel losing his pet hamster in the dining room, and Basil placing a bet on the horses. However, more than two-thirds of the show is ad-libbed as the three characters interact with audience members. This means that no performances are the same - they are all different.

There is no stage - the performance takes place around the seated dining guests in the restaurant. The main segments of the show take place between courses. The seated diners take on the role of the diners of the Hotel restaurant, so the audience is actually involved with Basil, Sybil and Manuel in their antics. While people are eating each course the three key actors wander around the guests and provide much impromptu banter. The amazing thing is that they keep in character the whole time.

The three-course meal was delicious, with the starter being Tomato and Basil Soup, the main course being Pan Fried Chicken Breast with Onion Stuffing, Chat Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables, and the dessert being Lime Flavoured Custard Tart with Shortbread Pastry Base, topped with Clotted Cream. Of course, the serving of each course was total mayhem, with some people initially missing out, some people meals removed before being eaten (fortunately replaced ... ), and strange items being found in some peoples servings.

The audience consisted of many individuals, couples, groups. One chap was celebrating his 60th birthday, so of course, this was incorporated into the antics. From the laughter that was coming from each of the tables, it was obvious that all were enjoying themselves and appreciating The Faulty Towers Dining Experience.

The Faulty Towers Dining Experience is presented by Interactive Theatre International (ITI), which has been presenting it around the world for the past 23 years.

Make sure you get along to one of the remaining Faulty Towers Dining Experiences at the Sydney Opera House, or to one of the other venues as they travel around Australia. The Faulty Towers Dining Experience is currently touring various towns cities in Australia throughout the rest of 2018. 

Sydney Opera House
To buy tickets for the remaining performances at the Sydney Opera House go to The Faulty Towers Dining Experience - Sydney Opera House

To find out about the coming performance locations, dates and ticket prices just go the website The Faulty Towers Dining Experience - Australian performances

Future performances will also be at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival: Mar/Apr 2018, Brighton Fringe: May 2018, Edinburgh Fringe: August 2018 and Touring worldwide 2018.

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