The word “experience” is usually thrown around willy-nilly, but in this case it’s entirely accurate. Considered a homage to the all-too-short British TV show, Fawlty Towers, Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience has been travelling the world for over a decade, winning awards everywhere, and managing to sell out its run every year at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Selling tickets in Adelaide is hard at the best of times, so they’re clearly doing something right.
From the first minute of the show hosted by The Stamford on Tuesday April 17, chaos ensued. The actors put forward a faithful recreation of their assigned characters, and didn’t let up throughout the duration of show. The audience was incredibly appreciative, which speaks to how well they managed to convey the idiosyncrasies of the well-known setting. Die-hard fans, some even travelling from interstate (and from overseas), largely made up the crowd; thankfully, those I spoke to weren’t disappointed, and it’s not hard to see why. Even those few audience members who had never seen the show had a great time.
Manuel was a standout, with his physical humour elevating the performance to another level. It was a joy to watch him in full flight, despite his questionable handling of food, and his presence made for an unforgettable meal for (mostly) all the right reasons.
However, I do question whether the humour is relevant in 2018. Multiple Nazi jokes in a show is usually indicative of the quality of humour, and doubly so when the crowd is left in raptures by said jokes every time. It may be a tad on the nose, so stay away if you’re not a fan of comedy that probably should have been left in the last century.
Despite the issues in terms of dated humour, this is definitely a show worth checking out, especially for those that know the Fawlty Towers scripts off by heart. Any concerns that it might be a vapid and limp recreation are dismissed within the first 10 minutes, and whilst the jokes are corny to the point of groaning, it’s still a wonderful night out. Just make sure there’s nothing untoward lurking in your soup… And don’t mention the war.
5/5 – for those that are a fan of the show
3/5 – for the quality of humour