Chaos reigns in the interactive dinner show at The Agean Restaurant in Fitzroy, with dinner to be served to you by Basil and Sybil Faulty, and the ever confused but eager Manuel. The three course meal dinner experience begins immediately, with Mr Faulty arranging all of the guests to be seated, while Manuel runs confused laps of everyone, circulating peanuts (literally running laps around the audience with a tray of nuts) and dragging audience members through the restaurant.
The characters, charm and interactions are true to the original show (or so I am told), bringing the gruffness of Mr Faulty, the shrillness and candour of Sybil and the manic energy of Manuel to life. For a first time Faulty experience, for me this was a lot of fun and something different to sitting down to listen to a comedian, as you watch the action take place all around you while enjoying a drink and a bite to eat. It’s one of the few dinner theatre experiences this festival (you can also check out he Dracula’s Cabaret performance of Resurrection, which includes dinner, a show and a ghost train ride), so it has a unique feel to the experience while still being light hearted, accompanied by delicious food and a truly interactive experience.
Your menu starts with bread, flung high around the room by Manuel. Be careful not to eat this too early, as he will come around and snatch it from your hands, swatting and head butting and saying, save it for your soup, which was a hot bowl of pumpkin delicious. You can expect things like Basil yelling “No Manuel, roll on plate” and Manuel interpreting that as a somersault done over the plate, rather than serving bread to the audience, and “Butter” to be interpreted as “Butt her” resulting in my date for the evening being head butted hard – she still has the bruises to prove it. Surprises in the soup, food used as props, and the staff of the restaurant playing along with the gag- the whole experience leaves nothing out.
Dinner is served while the cast have a little break, and we enjoyed a plate of delicious chicken with cacciatore style sauce, veggies, mash, potatoes and salad. Dessert is whipped out to you towards the end of the show, of stick date pudding and cream, and drinks are well priced and table service runs throughout the night, though the staff recommend you grab a few drinks before the show starts, as once the Faultys let loose, it’s a little hard for them to bring a drink to you.
They serve up lashings of laughter, spoonfuls of spontaneity playing with the crowd and plenty of audience participation, so come prepared to be a trouble maker and interact. Those who fully embraced the interactive nature had the best time at the show, from table top dancing to chasing a bowl of soup around the room, drinks stolen and a fire drill, get involved and have a belly full of laughs for dinner. The Faulty Towers Dining Experience serves chicken and chuckles until 9 April. Tickets and more info at: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/faulty-towers-the-dining-experience