The Faulty Towers Dining Experience - now opening in Mullingar

Faulty Towers (Dining Experience ) is not your average hotel. It is known that one guest had cream poured over his head simply for being mistaken for a hotel inspector while the dead body of another resident was dumped in a laundry basket.

And do not think of asking for a gin and orange, a lemon squash, and a Scotch and water as you may have to wait an hour, raise your voice, and for your troubles be manhandled into the bar by the owner.

So who better to tell us about Faulty Towers than the hotel’s proprietor Mr Basil Faulty. I began by asking about some of the above incidents and put it to him that his hotel is a place of utter chaos.

“It’s not chaos!” Mr Faulty replies. “It’s called typical British, no nonsense, hospitality! I mean the hotel business would be so much better if we didn’t have to put up with customers! If it wasn’t for people in the hotel it would all run perfectly.”

I understand his wife Sybil is the one who manages to keep everything just about running? “I’m sure she would try and tell you that though herself,” Mr Faulty replies testily, “but that’s a matter of opinion”.

So if he finds it stressful how does he cope with running a hotel? “Alcohol helps,” he states wearily. I ask what food will be on the menu when many Midlanders will visit the Faultys in October, and am told that while the “duck was off” the menu will be “something edible I suppose!”

Given the strain Mr Faulty often finds himself under, can I take it that while he might be a broken man by the end of the night, his diners and guests will be highly entertained? “I would suggest that’s odds on..Thank you! Now go away!”

So ends my conversation with the legendary Torquay hotelier (thanks to actor Ron Kelly ) but it gives a taste of what Mullingar can expect when Interactive Theatre Australia present The Faulty Towers Dining Experience in the Bloomfield House Hotel on November 12 and 13.

ITA began The Faulty Towers Dining Experience 14 years ago and since then it has become enormously popular, enjoying regular tours of Ireland and Britain, appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe, and receiving critical acclaim.

“I loved Fawlty Towers, the television series, but in many ways this live production is even better...Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is ingenious and is, by far, the best comedy show I have ever been to,” raved the Sunday Express. The British Theatre Guide called it “a once in a lifetime dining experience!” while The Irish Times said: “The cast played a blinder... absolutely spot-on”.

The show will see audiences come to the Bloomfield House Hotel where the dining room will become the restaurant of Faulty Towers and they will enjoy a three-course meal, with Basil Faulty (Ron Kelly ), Sybil (Karen Hamilton ), and Manuel (David Sweetman ) waiting on them. Expect anything and every kind of mayhem to happen.

“One-third of the show is scripted and the remaining two-thirds are improvised so no two shows are the same,” Karen Hamilton tells me. “The scripted sections follow parts of the TV series and pays homage to some of the most iconic and best-loved scenes from the show, and Manuel’s rat makes an appearance.”

Karen says that she, Ron, and David “live the characters” for the two hours of the show.

“It’s a seat of the pants ride for us and the audience and we give the audience a chance to play along as well,” she says. “We enjoy playing Ireland as Irish audiences take us to strange places we have never been before. At one show a man stuck his bottom out and said ‘It’s my turn now!’ ‘Please put that away and poke it at your own wife!’ I told him.”

Like the hotel created by John Cleese and Connie Booth in the 1970s, anything can happen and usually will.

The Faulty Towers Dining Experience takes place in the Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar on Saturday November 12 (sold out ) and Sunday September 13, with limited tickets available for the Sunday November 13 show. The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets are priced at €45. This includes a three-course meal and the show.

For more information call the Bloomfield House Hotel on (044 ) 9340894.

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