As traditional British sitcoms go, there aren’t many more iconic than Fawlty Towers. There’s sarcasm, slapstick and silliness – harmless, family fun. But what if you could experience this for yourself?
Well now you can! Take a trip to Faulty Towers (or in our case, the Radisson in Bloomsbury) for an immersive dining experience like no other!
Drink in hand, guests mill around with a sense of foreboding… and when Basil Faulty (Hayden ‘Dan’ Wood) and Manuel (Jonathan Matthews) arrive, chaos ensues. Within seconds Manuel is asked to “collect glasses” and he immediately removes my partner’s spectacles and goes off with them. Other similar incidents follow, including “roll on plate” and “wait on table”. The majority of the night is improvised, as us ‘guests’ give as good as we get. One fellow guest asked for some basil in his soup and was appropriately shot down. And let’s just say I got what I deserved after ‘seeing’ Basil the Rat under the table…
There are some familiar plotlines throughout the evening, which fans of the show will particularly enjoy: Basil tries to conceal his winning horse from Sybil and our German diners were frogmarched from the hall under the guise of being our new ‘Feurvardens’. The three actors are fantastic, embodying the characters brilliantly and interacting with all tables and guests no matter what. The chemistry and interaction between Basil and Manuel is fantastic and the mannerisms, accents and intonation are all outstanding.
And it is hilarious. We laughed until our sides hurt and through this, bonded with our fellow table mates (although our fondness for Sauvignon helped).
If you expect the food to be secondary to the entertainment, think again. It is actually pretty tasty and fits the scene perfectly; of course, be prepared for each course to be part of the theatricals and be sure to mention anything that’s missing or below par – you won’t regret it!
All I can say is that this is one evening you won’t forget in a hurry… just don’t tell the dragon… and don’t mention the war!
Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes