Faulty Towers the Dining Experience

  • Theatre
  • Comedy
0 Love It
Amba Hotel Charing Cross , Charing Cross Friday November 27 2015 - Sunday May 1 2016
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Farty Towels; Watery Fowls; Flowery Twats; the misspelling of Fawlty Towers's sign was a marvellous running gag. It was never spelt with a 'u', though, as it is in 'Faulty Towers the Dining Experience'. But despite being an unofficial tribute to John Cleese's legendary '70s sitcom, this interactive dinner-show – created by Australian company Interactive Theatre International –?captures the programme's spirit surprisingly well.

Having ordered our drinks at the pricey bar, Basil Faulty (with a 'u', remember) calls each dining group to be seated. My scruffy clothes didn't go down well with the neurotic host. 'Haven't you heard of a shirt and tie?' he asked, disgusted, before directing us to table seven.

Basil, Sybil and Manuel (Polly's 'got the night off', we're told) act as waiting staff, wandering between tables, interacting with guests, and performing longer set-pieces between courses which loosely recreate classic scenes from the series – pet rat, fire drill, goose-stepping etc. The trio are convincing impersonators, expertly nailing Cleese, Scales and Sachs's voices and mannerisms, and mingle seamlessly with the diners, making sure to involve each guest but never humiliate them.

What's disappointing is the lack of a through-line. The skits are hardly linked, meaning the evening doesn't build to much of a conclusion. The food, too, isn't exactly haute cuisine. The soup was tasty, but the chicken and vegetables main course was bland and cheap. But I guess that's faithful to the Towers 'experience'. Despite its flaws, this tribute show is exactly what it sets out to be; a good, solid, fun night out for fans of the sitcom. Just don't ask for more rolls; Manuel looked dizzy enough after one.

Venue name: Amba Hotel Charing Cross
Address: The Strand
Transport: Tube: Charing Cross; Rail: Charing Cross
Price: £43.50-£54, £39-£42 concs. Runs 2hrs
Event phone: 0845 1544 145
Event website: http://www.faultytowers-uk.com

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening
Hilde O

Great fun and surprisingly good food! Definitely an "fawlty tower experience".. Basil was fabulous, but Sybil and Manuel was good too. It's a bit pricy so there should have been one drink included, but that's my only criticism..

All in all a great night..!

Karen M

We had been deliberating over going to this event for several months and then we were lucky enough to attend the show for free, courtesy of Time Out and I'm so glad we did because the show is superb. We had several people on our table from overseas who hadn't actually seen the show and I cannot see how they could possibly have appreciated how talented the cast were or understood what was going on, they may even have put the poor service down to the hotel itself haha. The Amba Hotel is an incredible building and the Torquay Suite in particular is a beautiful room, full of character.

If you go prepared for an evening of comedy and mayhem then that is what you get, you need a good crowd with a sense of humour, willing to interact with the proceedings. I thought the food was very good far better than I'd expected and piping hot. The dessert was delicious. If you go expecting first class service then you're missing the point. This is Faulty Towers after all! 


I was lucky enough to attend this show for free with Time Out and I cannot describe how happy I am that I did win.  I tend to love a bit of audience interaction when available and this dinner show did not disappoint.  You really felt like you were in Faulty Towers and the actors were incredible. I have never seen such a flawless John Cleese.  In the beginning it did seem a bit cheesy and predictable but once you accepted it for what it was, it became really enjoyable. 

I was not one to expect fine dining, if anything I expected 70s style dishes so I was pleasantly surprised with the food offered.  The soup was quite nice but by no means a show stopper.  The chicken was lovely and the dessert was amazing! For the cost of the ticket I can understand people expecting more but when you are getting a show as well, you are getting a good deal.  

While you wouldn't want to go if you hadn't seen Faulty Towers, it would be enjoyable for all the family.  

The bar was quite expensive however and if you arrive hungry you might be waiting quite some time for your food with Manuel serving you! 


The Faulty Towers Dining Experience follows the immersive dinner theatre concept, promising attendees both a meal and a show with their ticket. It has taken up residency at the Amba Hotel in Charing Cross until May 2016, allowing this site-specific show to be staged in the apt environment of a hotel with a spacious bar and dining room.

Understandably, the idea of interactive theatre immediately puts some people on edge. This show does entail participation from the audience, but it will surprise you how effortlessly the actors beguile you into engaging with them. Guests are directed to Basil’s Bar upon arrival, where they can order a drink as Basil, Sybil and Manuel quietly slip into the crowd. Chaos quickly ensues: names are called out and guests are assigned to group tables in the dining room. Once seated, there is ample opportunity for introductions and anxious inspection of the surroundings. 

Once everyone is seated, the real show kicks off- napkins are tucked in despite protest, garnishes fly across tables and your selection of cutlery will baffle you. You might end up caught in the flurry of a tray of discarded peanuts. It’s just that type of show.

But you won’t end up with your meal in your lap- the food is perfectly palatable, but generic catering fare. You’re not paying for experimental cuisine, after all. We had a carrot/butternut squash soup to start, chicken breast with mashed potato and steamed vegetables for a main and a raspberry chocolate mousse for desert. Coffee was also served. The courses are generally timed in between the scripted interaction between the characters, but there was little time where the actors were not circulating around the tables.

The talent is spot-on, especially Basil, who has his trademark Cleese mania down pact. They are energetic and the performance spirals into the depths of increasing absurdity as the night goes on- they successfully capture the essence of the television show, but even the unacquainted guests will be entertained. The comedy is mostly situational and there are enough visual gags to keep all ages entertained. You might not realise how much you’re enjoying yourself until you leave- I noticed that my face was strained from laughing!

This show was a riotous night out- who can complain when you get dinner and a bit of theatre? The audience represented all ages, so we found it easy to enjoy ourselves with good company on our table. The show is fluid and while about one third was scripted, the actors tailored their performances to the audience on the night- it was very memorable and side-splittingly funny, so make sure not to miss it.

Just don’t complain about the service, request water for the table or get up to go to the toilet or else you might end up with the chef’s false teeth in your soup. You’ve been warned.  

Kirsty E

What a thoroughly enjoyable and exciting evening! We were lucky enough to win tickets to this through Time Out and had a fabulous time. I don't think we would normally have booked tickets to this as we aren't too keen on "audience participation" events but having been we would definitely recommend it.

The actors are fantastic, never letting their character slip throughout the evening and the entertainment is pretty much non stop action. Some good jokes and tricks too. Star of the show has to be Manuel who is absolutely brilliant, we actually thought he could pass as the real thing!

Don't really know why there are so many negative reviews about the food. We thought the soup was fine, the chicken was lovely and the dessert was very extravagant! Maybe we have poor taste but it was far better than we expected! Just don't ask for 2 bread rolls!!

Only negative is that the bar is very expensive and we waited quite a long time for our drinks. Otherwise we would have given it a 5 star review!


Went with a large family gathering to celebrate birthday.  Was ready to be entertained so disappointed that the actors seemed to be going through the motions and just weren't "feeling" their roles, despite some of the stunts being quite clever. The food was terrible.  Quite disappointing and poor value for money. 

Mrs. Glenda Powell

I should like to come to the F.T Dining experience on Sunday 30th June at 6pm as a surprise for my husband's 66th birthday. Have you got availability please and what will be the cost for two over 60 year olds (my husband and myself?) a husband and wife in their 40s; and two daughters of eleven years old? My mobile number is 07711981614? Please remember this is a surprise!! Many thanks. Glenda Powell

geoff walker

visited london to see our daughter ,while we were there booked 4 tickets for a tuesday night show A fantastic show from start to finish. We were on a table with other diners from abroad but it made for a great night as they did not know what to expect .The players were superb the sketches very funny. Have booked to see them at The Hostess Restaurant when they come to Mansfield in Oct . Geoff


Food = Average Experience = Incredible It really is an outstanding, immersive, hilarious show. Best night out in London right now.


Really loved all the actors but the food was really cheap (like the real fawlty towers I guess). Leek and potato soup followed by a small chicken breast with mash that required a knife and fork. Pudding was a floppy mousse cake masquerading as a cheesecake. But would Basil have had the front to charge £30.00 for a bottle of sulphate rich Nobilo Sauvignon blanc (you can get six bottles at Tesco for the same price, that's a ridiculous mark-up). Christmas table decor would have been a really nice touch too..

Chimney Ben

Utterly brilliant. The service is appalling, the staff rude and incompetent as you would expect. The food is basic but fine (drinks are extortionate) and is really incidental to the show, which is superbly acted; it's difficult to tell the cast from the originals. After the show, had a chat with 'Basil' who said it's about 60% improvised on the night, which keeps things fresh. It worked well and we were of course delighted to see some goose-stepping and anti-German ranting, a loose rat and Manuel being beaten up. Absolutely hilarious and a top night out (unless you're German)!