Faulty Towers the Dining Experience | Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2011

Basil Fawlty is an unforgettable character.

With his clipped British accent, slicked and parted hair, impeccable moustache the man is one of the most recognizable landmarks of British comedy. And the story of Basil Fawlty, his dragon-like wife Sybil and his helpless language inhibited Spaniard Manuel only gets better when instead of watching the show from your couch you are a patron at their infamous restaurant.

The Aegean plays host to the hotel ‘Fawlty Towers’ and its decor is well suited. The fifty or so guests armed with drinks prepared themselves for what we knew would be a night of laughs and no sooner do we see young Manuel racing across to try and collect the empty bottles and glasses do we know the fun has begun.

Manuel’s inability to comprehend the nuances of the English lanaguge and taking Basil’s fiery instructions too literally were the chief sources of hilarity. From literally turning on spot balancing a tray of nuts above his head so as to ‘circulate’ among the guests to rolling on a tiny quarter plate meant for a bread roll it was a very good idea to suspend all health and safety concerns sooner rather than later.

Especially if you were the unfortunate woman whose hair was re-dressed with two forks.

Basil was definitely the star of the evening and with his quick wit and tactless remarks (especially to the woman whom who he emphatically placed as harking from the middle ages – ladies you have been warned) he gave a splendid performance – simply spiffing!

Sybil with a perfectly set headress and glittering cluster of pearls at her ears gave an excellent impersonation of her t.v series counterpart as she smiled graciously at he guests, glared at her impetous husband and perfected the art of hostessing with her tittering laugh.

Buns flying, soup with sets of false teeth (I was lucky enough to get one of those charming accompaniments) and with more parsley on the tablecloth than in the soup the service was erratic but personal to the highest degree.

A dining experience that is pure entertainment leaving you walk away with much more than a full tummy.