Set amongst the hidden gem that is the Brisbane Golf Club the air is thick with a giddy feel of anticipation. Within moments of sitting down we spot the infamous 'Manuel from Barcelona', frantically bobbing around, snatching glasses from people's hands and prodding people from their relaxed chairs. Enter Basil – tall and booming in voice and tweed jacket. The experience has begun and we haven't even entered the dining hall yet! Manuel is asked to seat the guests and the crowd is already in hysterics as Manuel tries to mould punters in furniture-like fashion on the hallway floor!
The improvisation in this show is absolutely second to none. Not a beat was missed. I was singled out on entry and asked if there was anything I required – I snidely requested a single cocktail onion and continued to my seat. Amongst the herding of people and the chaotic nature of the seating arrangements Basil returns to me and very cheekily asks if I was the woman requiring an onion. In my place setting he sets down a single cooking onion and darts off. I asked for an onion – it was most certainly delivered. Teehee!
The banter between Manuel and Basil is highly entertaining as Sybil (Donna Gray) walks around making arrangements final and dosing out a delightfully unwelcome feel. The accents complete with dialect hit the mark without falter and you are bombarded with so much interaction between the three of them that you would never have time to complain about service, especially if you know your server is set to be the lovable but useless Manuel!
So much credit must be given to the actors for the facial expressions. How can a single raised eyebrow make for an uproarious response? Manuel (Andy Foreman) had facial expressions that I can only dream must have taken aeons to master... These actors aren't playing a character – they ARE characters and it is easy to see how this show has been such a world-wide success. It really is a faulty, full-on feast for the funny bone! Guests are fighting for bread as Basil (Hayden Wood) instructs simple tasks that turn in to hilarious literal acts – asked to wait on tables you hear the screams of laughter as Manuel starts serving and dancing on the table he is 'waiting'. Talk about lost in translation! Even the food is not safe, when we are asked to check our soup for 'something the chef is missing'... A glass is raised to the poor souls who found false teeth in their soup. Every minute of interaction is filled with anxious joy as you wonder when your turn is coming to be made the fool.
Slapstick comedy with a side of food, there is never a dull moment throughout the experience. On top and under tables, running top-speed through the hall to escape sudden doom, whether it be Manuel from Basil or Basil from Sybil, you are craning your neck every which way to avoid missing anything. There is no 'fourth-wall' to break in this experience, so the only things left to break are the crockery in the kitchen! Witty banter, undeniably perfect improvisation and brilliant comedic timing. The only downfall is picking your time to escape to the toilet for the fear of missing out but even more present, the fear of being singled out.
Whether you're a fan of the classic Fawlty Towers or an unsuspecting attendee this is certainly going to tickle the senses in both food and fun. With an unflappable cast of characters and a great background to back it up the Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is good fun, down to the last bite.
Interactive Theatre International presents
Faulty Towers The Dining Experience
Venue: The Brisbane Golf Club | 70 Tennyson Memorial Avenue, Yeerongpilly, QLD
Dates: 15 December 2017
Tickets: $99 – all tickets include 3-course meal and 2-hour show
ALSO TOURING NATIONALLY
See website for details – www.torquaysuitetheatre.com