Tag Archives: Jack Baldwin

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience


Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury 

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury

Reviewed – 4th December 2020



“For fans of the show, this is a definite must see. For fans of good service, perhaps not!”


As this trying year comes to an end, surely, we are all deserving of a night out. And what better way to celebrate than a three-course dinner at the Fawlty Towers hotel! Upscaled from Torquay to the Radisson Blu hotel in London, Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience sees its audience become diners at the fictional hotel and receive the expected questionable service from Basil (Jack Baldwin), Sybil (Katharine Mary) and Manuel (Simon Grujich).

The show naturally has been adapted to be COVID-secure. Guests are ushered into the dining room by Manuel brandishing a feather duster who pushes in your chair far too tight with his foot to maintain social distancing. All characters wear masks and Sybil hands out hand sanitiser upon arrival. Fortunately, the current restrictions do not prevent the show from remaining highly interactive.

Diners are served three-courses of 70s-style grub, starting with a tomato soup, followed by chicken (or pasta), and a lemon cheesecake for afters. The first two courses are accompanied by general havoc – such as Manuel throwing bread rolls to diners – while the desert is enjoyed in peace. The menu feels like a real missed opportunity as the original BBC Fawlty Towers has so many iconic dishes associated with it such as Waldorf salad, duck with orange, and trifle. Serving dishes such as these would have made the experience so much more immersive.

The three-strong cast all did an excellent job at capturing the spirit of their respective characters. Grujich was particularly convincing as Manuel, so much so that it was almost surprising when he revealed his English accent after the show’s end. The cast do well to improvise successfully both amongst each other and with the diners. One particularly good moment was when a guest started choking and Baldwin quickly stood in front of her to avoid upsetting the other customers.

It is a shame that the long-suffering waitress Polly does not make an appearance. Also, the inclusion of a Major trying to be politically correct could have been a humorous addition, especially considering that the BBC temporarily removed ‘The Germans’ episode from its streaming service earlier this year due to it containing racial slurs.

The small cast however meant that much of the production’s comedy relied on misunderstandings between Manuel and the other characters. Amusing as this bit is, the back-to-back skits of poor English did become rather tedious. The show really flourished in its second half where many elements of the show’s loose plot were brought together. Sybil also had a greater presence later on – such as singing an operatic rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ to various guests – which added variety to the entertainment.

There are several references to iconic moments from the television show such as Basil’s ‘silly walk’ from ‘The Germans’ episode, the proclamation that ‘fish’s off’ in reference to the plethora of duck in ‘Gourmet Night’, and Basil slapping himself silly for being a ‘naughty boy’ as in ‘The Builders’ episode. These scenes were big crowd-pleasers and evoked the most enthusiastic response from the audience.

More inventive prop work would have helped elevate the show. For example, at one point, the audience is informed that a rat is loose in the dining area. Eventually, Manuel pulls out a toy rat from under a table. This scene would have been so much better if some sort of remote-controlled creature had zipped out from under a chair and Basil had had to wrestle it to the floor.

Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience is a unique and joke-filled production. For fans of the show, this is a definite must see. For fans of good service, perhaps not!



Reviewed by Flora Doble


Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury until March 2021 & touring across the UK


Recently reviewed by Flora:
Julius Caesar | ★★★★ | The Space | March 2020
The Haus Of Kunst | ★★★ | The Vaults | March 2020
Big Girl | ★★★ | Bread & Roses Theatre | September 2020
Pippin | ★★★★ | The Garden Theatre | September 2020
All By Myself | ★★½ | Online | October 2020
How to Live a Jellicle Life | ★★★★ | Lion & Unicorn Theatre | October 2020
Howerd’s End | ★★★½ | Golden Goose Theatre | October 2020
The Labryinth | ★★★★ | Online | November 2020
The War | ★★★★★ | Online | November 2020
The Desert | ★★★★★ | Online | November 2020


Click here to see our most recent reviews


The Comedy About a Bank Robbery – 5 Stars


The Comedy About a Bank Robbery

Criterion Theatre

Reviewed – 12th April 2018


“for anyone and everyone looking for a short pick-me-up”


In our current sociopolitical climate whereby each week we are inundated with news stories that project uncertainty about our future, it seems necessary now more than ever for the theatre to take a break from its societal projection and instead provide some escapism. The Comedy About a Bank Robbery by Mischief Theatre, complete with a range of Doo-Wop classic hits and quick-witted comic moments  is just the tonic that everyone needs.

After The Play that Goes Wrong and Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Mischief Theatre brought their third production to the West End and it differs slightly from their previous shows. The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is set in 1950s Minneapolis and follows a planned bank robbery by two escaped convicts. It’s a fast-paced and impeccably timed production that combines various types of humour which brings the audience together rather early on in the show. The show itself is incredibly demanding both physically and technically for all involved, and relies heavily on perfect timing, which is pulled off astonishingly well. One moment, in particular, involved a joke that focused on shifting the Fourth Wall to a bird’s eye perspective, quite a feat for all those within the scene but flawlessly executed.

As the show enters its third year, the newly arrived cast were an unbelievable team of actors. Chris Leask stood out in particular as he adopted such a range of different roles throughout the production that it was easy to lose count. The sheer physicality of his performance was memorable and quite central to the overall progression of the plot.

Sometimes it’s incredibly satisfying to be part of an audience that isn’t relied on too heavily by the production, and instead one simply has to sit back and enjoy the show, allowing the familiar fifties tunes to escort you to a dream-like version of 1950s America.

The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is for anyone and everyone looking for a short pick-me-up in this time of social and political upheaval. An incredibly enjoyable evening guaranteed!


Reviewed by Claire Minnitt

Photography by Robert Workman


The Comedy About a Bank Robbery

Criterion Theatre until 7th April 2019


Interview – Peter McGovern


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