Tuesday 27th September

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The Faulty Towers Dining Experience. Charing Cross Hotel.

| Comedy | 15/07/2013

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

The Faulty Towers Dining Experience is an unofficial tribute to the much-loved John Cleese sitcom.  Co-created by Andy Foreman, who also plays the iconic Manuel, it’s been entertaining diners and winning five-star reviews since 1997.  Intrigued by the concept and a fan of the television programme to boot, I went along to the Charing Cross Hotel where the show is currently in residency to see what all the fuss was about.

It kicks off whist you’re in the bar waiting to be seated, and doesn’t stop kicking for a whole two hours.  There’s audience interaction aplenty, with the performers fizzing things along on a wave of energy.  One minute you’re throwing bread rolls around with Manuel, the next you’re running for the exit as Basil practices his “Fire Drill”.   This is a whirlwind of slapstick, silliness and surrealist wordplay that will have you laughing soup through your nostrils.

In case you were worried, there’s something for everyone here; jokes that will please both fan boys and newcomers alike.  Even if you’ve never watched the programme before, you won’t ever be made to feel excluded.  Whilst you’re bound to be insulted at some point during the evening, don’t let this put you off.  The joke is always on Basil and his outdated views.  On the evening I attended, he took a Swedish couple for a pair of Germans and presumed Vegetarianism and Socialism to be the same thing.

The actors involved really do deserve credit for bringing this wonderful production to life, night after night after night after night. This is top end entertainment, a triple espresso of physicality that will knock for you six.  The performers stay inside the moment throughout and never let your attention drift for more than a microsecond.  Even something as simple as going to the toilet between courses becomes part of the spectacle, with Manuel offering to take you there himself.   The cast have successfully embodied the essence of what made the television programme so popular and for this they should be applauded.

The food is adequate at best but, in many ways, this only serves to enhance the atmosphere.  It’s by no means the tastiest meal that London has to offer but it certainly is the funniest.  Whatever your dinner plans, change them now and book a table at The Faulty Towers Dining Experience.  It’s a feast for the senses, a buffet of comedic pleasures that won’t disappoint. Deliciously entertaining from start to finish, this is not to be missed.




By Jack Clayton @BilboTalk

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