Fringe World Perth 2015

Faulty Towers the Dining Experience, Fringe World Perth, 2015

1 Comment 25 January 2015

Friday 23 January
Rigby’s Bar, the Basement Lounge
Review by Antonina Heymanson

With its plush patterned carpet and wooden bar, Rigby’s Basement Lounge recalls the Tower’s 70s decor. An intimate setting with a distinct British feel, the Basement Lounge makes you want to order “a gin and orange lemon squash, and a scotch and water, please!”. The air is filled with animated chatter as young and old alike anticipate the arrival of Britain’s most famous hoteliers. It is only when when Manuel squeezes past with an apologetic “scusi!” and a toothy smile that you realise, with childish delight, that the show has begun.

Amongst the eight teams circulating the world, and regular shows in London, and now New York, for this trio’s Basil (Rob Langston), Sybil (Karen Hamilton) and Manuel (Anthony Sottile), the show’s four week stint at the Perth Fringe marks the first stop amongst twenty countries to be visited this year alone. Beginning in Brisbane in 1997, the three-course, two-hour spectacle has garnered international acclaim from all over the world, and for good reason.

For well versed viewers of the show, the unmistakable physicality and distinctive voices are flawless from all three actors, impressively maintained throughout the highly improvised performance. Snippets of the show’s memorable dialogue are quoted, and amongst the scripted antics, dinner is served. The food, standard British fare with a distinctive 70s flair, is tasty, well cooked and presented, though a word to the wise: choose carefully when to take your next mouthful. Laughter is guaranteed, and you cannot be sure where your spoonful of soup might end up.

For individuals who are not as familiar with Fawlty’s mishaps, the show is bountiful in stand-alone moments. For one reason or another, tables and individuals are targeted for comedic pranks as Manuel sits on laps, Sybil trills ‘happy birthday’ whilst guiding Rigby’s choir in serenading birthday diners, and Basil’s withering comments fly about the room. No-one is exempt from a curt word or two, least of all individuals with dietary requirements who are “rabbit food eaters” or  “afraid of a little gluten”.

Whether a food or theatre lover, Fawlty quoter or newcomer, Faulty Towers the Dining Experience is top nosh, guaranteed to leave you with a belly full of food, and a belly full of laughs.

Faulty Towers the Dining Experience runs from Saturday 24 January to Sunday 22 February 2015. You can buy tickets here.


  1. Fringe delights! | Faulty Towers The Dining Experience - February 3, 2015

    […] to leave you with a belly full of food, and a belly full of laughs.’ Read the full review here. and from The West Australian: ‘…if you neglect to make it down to Rigby’s Bar and […]

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