TEN years ago an troupe of Australian improvisers landed at the Fringe with a show that has since become one of the Festival’s modern day success stories, despite having its origins in a seventies sitcom.
The Faulty Towers Dining Experience ,inspired by the hit BBC TV show, saw Fringe-goers arrive at the old B’est Restaurant, where they were greeted and seated for dinner by none other than Basil Faulty, his wife Sybil, and their Spanish waiter Manuel.
As they ‘enjoyed’ a three course-meal, served in typical Faulty-esque style, the performers paid an affectionate homage to Fawlty Towers, written by John Cleese and Connie Booth.
A decade on this five star immersive show still dishes up lashings of laughter along with the afore-mentioned three-course meal.
A blend of comedy and a unique theatrical script, The Faulty Towers Dining Experience is a multi-sensory treat where chaos reigns right from the start, and with 70% of the show improvised, no two performances are ever the same.
Alison Pollard-Mansergh, the show’s artistic director, and the original Edinburgh Sybil says, “I can’t believe I’m sitting here in 2017 in The Principal, doing two versions of Faulty with two sets of cast in a 4 star hotel for the whole of the Fringe.
“When I think back to our first Fringe in 2008 at B’est Restaurant, it was just me as Sybil with a Basil and Manuel who have since left the company. “I traipsed the streets all day every day flyering, and we sold out. The Evening News was the first to talk about us.
“There we were, a small show from Brisbane, and now we’re all over the world, with over 30 actors performing in over 20 countries.
“We have Edinburgh to thank for that. It was our international launch pad.”
To celebrate their 10th Edinburgh Fringe Anniversary, and the show’s 20th birthday, The Faulty Towers Dining Experience moves into a new top end home this year, the swanky Principal Hotel on George Street, complete with some new script, and ‘heaps of new jokes and surprises’.
Principal, George Street, until 28 August, various times, £49.50-£65, 0845-154 4145