Hilarious, delicious, Faulty Towers: the Dining Experience is a Fringe Legend. Now in its sixth consecutive year at Edinburgh, the show plus 3-course 70s style meal (note the spelling 'Faulty' is intentional to distinguish it from the TV show that inspired it) started in Australia 16 years ago and continues to tour the world.
I couldn't wait and nor could the excited crowd who gathered outside B'est restaurant. Delighted laughter broke out at the first sight of the actors playing Basil, Sybil and Manuel, (Rob Langston, Donna Gray and Terence Frisch) close lookalikes to the TV actors even down to Basil's gangling length and his too tight, too short in the arm checked jacket, Sybil's teetering turquoise heels, fulsome frilly bust and Manuel's furtive slouch. We were subjected to instant insults. Manuel abused by Basil, Basil abused by Sybil, it was everything we were expecting.
Only a third of the show is scripted. The off-the-cuff business between the tables was jaw-dropping, the actors circulating so each corner of the room was in mayhem, and inbetween courses (served by the long suffering genuine waiters), the threesome enacted some of the most adored TV scenarios. There'll be no spoilers here, but expect terrible puns, the sound of 'Baz-eel' screeched by Sybil followed by her throaty laugh, Manuel will inevitably get his head bashed and Basil will inevitably be humiliated by Sybil. There are many serial returnees and no wonder.