‘Two hours of non-stop laughter’: Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience is a dinner theatre experience like no other

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‘Two hours of non-stop laughter’: Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience is a dinner theatre experience like no other

Faulty Towers
Words by Juliette Salom

This Comedy Festival, gear up for three-courses and a bucket load of laughs with characters straight out of the acclaimed TV show Fawlty Towers at the Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience.

Not too often do the characters in one’s favourite TV show come to life, right in front of you, serving you laughs and hysterics and a three-course meal.

But at the Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from April 5 to April 14, you can expect just that. An interactive theatre performance with dinner served alongside laughs, Basil, Sybil and Manuel perform all the antics the famous comedy trio from the acclaimed TV show are best known for.

Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience

  • April 5 to April 14
  • Oaks on Market Hotel, 60 Market Street Melbourne
  • You can buy tickets here

Explore Melbourne’s latest arts and stage news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Speaking to Monique Lewis-Reynolds, who has played the hilariously eccentric Sybil at the Melbourne Comedy Festival run of shows in years past, the actor says it’s a role she’s been well-equipped to play.

Performing as part of Interactive Theatre International, Lewis-Reynolds says that when she first received the audition tape for Sybil, her first thought was, “I think I’ve got a handle of this.” Having grown up watching the BCC TV show alongside her grandparents, the actor was well aware of the glamorous character everyone loved from the famous ‘70s sitcom.

Although Lewis-Reynolds won’t make it as Sybil this year to the Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience because of other shows she’s touring, the phenomenal Candice Taylor will be stepping into Sybil’s shoes.

Even still, Lewis-Reynolds has nothing but heart when she talks about the experience of performing in the show. “People always say to me, ‘Don’t you get sick of it?’” she says. “No. It’s such a joy.” 

Whilst audience members may have never experienced anything like this before – because it’s not every day you’re eating a meal with Sybil, Basil and Manuel riffing alongside, and with, you – Lewis-Reynolds says that that variety of experience is also what brings so much of the delight for the actors themselves.

“Every night we’ve got a different audience. Sometimes I’ll work with lots of different actors playing Basil or Manuel, so that adds a whole new level of interest to the show.”

The shenanigans at The Dining Experience are guaranteed to live up to the ones watchers of the TV show will remember fondly from the BBC series. With over 70 per cent of the theatre show improvised by the actors, it’s a situation in which anything goes. And anything normally does, Lewis-Reynolds says, detailing some of the fun moments she’s been witness to as part of the production. 

“I love my improv moments,” she says. “The best part is keeping people engaged.” And the audience being engaged seems like a given in this interactive experience. Described as “two hours of non-stop laughter”, Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience is one of the more unique shows on offer as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this season.

And it’s not just Melbourne who is lapping up all the fun of this chaotic show. Interactive Theatre International is in the midst of touring the show around the globe, taking Faulty Towers all throughout Europe and the UK, and of course Australia.

Only running for a brief stint at the Comedy Festival, this fun-filled dining experience of chaos and hysteria is one not to be missed. So, grab a ticket and get hungry for a meal and for a stomach-full of laughs at the Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience.

You can buy tickets to the performance here.