A laugh a minute – Faulty Towers at The 4* Bloomsbury Hotel Restaurant

Faulty Towers is an interactive 2 hour dining experience hosted by Interactive Theatre International. You will have a laugh a minute.

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Faulty Towers poster

Firstly what is Faulty Towers?

Faulty Towers is a play by Interactive Theatre International.  The show is based on the classic TV sitcom Fawlty Towers that was broadcast on British television on BBC Two between 1975 and 1979. Only 12 episodes in total were made (two series of six episodes each). The TV show was created and written by John Cleese and Connie Booth, who also starred in the show.

Fawlty Towers was a fictional hotel which was set in the seaside town of Torquay. The plots centre Basil Fawlty (John Cleese), his bossy wife Sybil (Prunella Scales), normal chambermaid / receptionist Polly (Booth) who often was the peacemaker and voice of reason, and the very bumbling English-challenged Spanish waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs). All of whom tried to run the hotel amidst farcical situations and an array of demanding and eccentric guests and tradespeople.

Basil Fawlty – Basil is the owner of the Fawlty Towers Hotel. His character was a tense, rude, loud and snobbish one. He wanted his hotel just for the upper class to enjoy however this did not always happen and despite this he always had to be polite to people even if he did despise them which was a challenge and one he could not always meet. He is dominated by his wife and takes out his frustrations on poor Manuel.

Cleese described Basil as thinking that “he could run a first-rate hotel if he didn’t have all the guests getting in the way” and as being “an absolutely awful human being” but says that in comedy if an awful person makes people laugh they unaccountably feel affectionate towards him.

Sybil Fawlty – Sybil was played by Prunella Scales. She was Basil’s wife. She was a very energetic and strong minded woman who wore tight skirt-suits in shiny fabrics and sports a tower of permed hair augmented with hairpieces and wigs and necessitating the use of overnight curlers. She is a more effective manager of the hotel, making sure Basil gets certain jobs done or stays out of the way when she is handling difficult guests. However when the hotel was busy Sybil is was always frequently seen on the phone to one of her friends with her phrase “Oohhh, I knoooooooow” or chatting to customers. She has a distinctive conversational tone and braying laugh, which Basil compares to “someone machine-gunning a seal.”

Manuel – Manuel was played by Andrew Sachs. A disorganised and confused Spaniard from Barcelona with a poor grasp of the English language and customs. He is verbally and physically abused by his boss Basil. When told what to do, he often responds, “Qué?” (“What?”). Manuel is afraid of Fawlty’s quick temper and violent assaults, yet often expresses his appreciation for being given employment. He is relentlessly enthusiastic and is proud of what little English he knows.

More about Interactive Theatre International

Interactive Theatre International (ITI), is a professional Australian company theatre company which was founded in 1997. They produce and promote high quality interactive, site-specific and immersive comedy theatre which is performed around the world.

Since 1997, Interactive Theatre International has been staging Faulty Towers The Dining Experience, it’s tribute to the BBC show, all over the world. I’s been resident in London since 2012, where it ranks consistently high in TripAdvisor’s top London Theatre listings; it holds TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Their main shows within London include The Wedding Reception and Faulty Towers The Dining Experience. All their current shows can be found by clicking here.

Where is Faulty Towers The Dining Experience held?

In London, Faulty Towers The Dining Experience takes place at Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel which is a 4* hotel near to Tottenham Court Road tube station and situated near Oxford Street shopping.

Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury hotel has richly-appointed public areas, an original wrought-iron staircase which winds its way through the building’s centre and an eye-catching display of pages from Woolf’s most famous literary creation, Mrs Dalloway, the hotel is the ultimate blend of luxury and contemporary style. Each of the 174 bedrooms has an elegant blend of lavish furnishings, marble bathrooms and cutting edge technology, including flat screen televisions, iPod docking stations and complimentary Wi-Fi.

To find out more about this hotel click here.

Let the night commence

We were told when signing in at the reception desk we were not allowed to take photos on the night so I have been supplied with these images from the Interactive Theatre International of Basil played by Paul O’Neil, Sybil played by Rebecca Norris and Manuel played by Phil Oakland.


Within the bar / waiting area we all waited to be greeted and seated by Basil and Manuel.  However in the meantime whilst waiting there was a prop counter with a phone and book so I just had to pick up the phone and pretend to be Polly the receptionist. Polly does not though feature in this Faulty Towers immersive tribute act.

Basil and Manuel then enter the waiting room and Basil asks Manuel to serve some nuts. So Manuel starts to throw nuts at people.  Basil tells him off and asks what is he doing.  Manuel with his not so good English grasp then explains to Basil that he is serving the nuts and mimes like he was playing tennis. There are though many other comical moments within the reception area.

Basil then eventually reads out guests names and table numbers in which they are sat uttering the words “Manuel will show you to your seats – if you’re lucky”.

The Dining Experience


Me and my friend Steve

Me and my friend Steve were sat down at a large communal round table seated with eight other guests however you might not get a chance to small talk with your other fellow guests as there is much chaos and humour going on between Basil, Manuel and Sybil all night long. Plus at times as this is an immersive show you may even be part of the show, so keep your wits and quick thinking about you.

A lot of thought and planning clearly went into making the entire experience as close to the real thing as possible with chaos and mishaps all around.

Throughout the night there are gags a-plenty with a shambolic service as Basil, Sybil and Manuel try to serve up a ‘70s-style 3-course meal along with a good dollop of mayhem. So be sure to expect the unexpected!

The actors/actresses did not only look like the characters from the sitcom but they all had the voices and mannerisms of the original cast making you feel that you have time travelled into the actual sitcom from the 70’s.

Like the TV series Basil relationship with his wife Sybil was awkward and his relationship with Manuel was full of slapstick comedy moments. Manuel delivered much humour throughout the night with his little knowledge of and understanding of the English language.

With only a third of the performance being scripted each of the actors/actresses really do put on a quick thinking amazing show. Everything flowed so smoothly it was hard to know which was scripted material and which was improvised.

I would recommend re-watching a few episodes of the TV sitcom as this will give you a true appreciation for the show.

You will certainly be laughing a minute during your dining experience.

The food

Firstly like all meals we are served bread but throughout this service let’s just say we was thrown bread which was being hurled out by Manuel.

It was then onto starters. We were served onion soup. I did not eat this as I don’t like onions but it looked appetising and creamy.  My friend Steve said it was absolutely delicious however he said my soup was stronger in taste and it smelt it as well.

Mains we were served chicken breast along with potato gratin and vegetable.  Was quite nice but was luke warm and not big enough in my opinion.

For dessert it was a pannacotta with a layer of fruit in a fruity gelatin on top. I usually love dessert but I must admit I was disappointed with this dessert as the fruit was not sweet enough so the cheesecake was bland. However it did look pretty.


Don’t expect a great service though as this is Faulty Towers restaurant after all and with Manuel serving what do you expect.

Which character do you love the most Basil, Sybil or Manuel?


Faulty Towers The Dining Experience certainly did perform a great show. The cast played the characters spot on with excellent 1st class performance and were exceptionally quick with great improvisation with audience members throughout the night.

The only thing that slightly let the night down for me was the food but then I am fussy.

You will surely be satisfied by the performance, just don’t let Basil know how satisfied otherwise he might say

“Satisfied customer. We should have them stuffed”.

However if you are someone who likes to eat their dinner in peace and is uncomfortable with being part of an immersive experience then this show won’t be for you.

When is this performed

  • evenings Thursday-Friday-Saturday at 7:30pm; doors open 7:00pm.
  • early evenings Sunday at 6:30pm; doors at 6:00pm.
  • lunchtimes Saturday-Sunday at 1:30pm; doors open 1pm.

Where to book

You can book tickets for this show direct with Interactive Theatre International via clicking here.

A laugh a minute

Thanks to Interactive Theatre for a laugh a minute with Faulty Towers immersive dining experience. The experience was complimentary but all views are my own honest opinions.

Click below to read the blogs from other community members of Love Pop Ups London whom went on different nights. All their views are of their own honest opinion. 

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