Stamford Plaza
Until 03 Mar 2019

Review by Doug Phillips

Presented at the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival

It doesn’t matter who you are; you’ll love this show. Fawlty Towers fans will be very impressed with the perfection of the performances. But even those who have never heard of John Cleese will enjoy a hilarious evening of Python-esque madness.

Basil, Sybil, and Manuel were all incredibly precise in their character recreations. There were definite moments through-out the evening where the audience would forget that we weren’t actually witnessing John Cleese in all his insane genius glory. But not just Basil. Sybil and Manuel were also flawless, almost.

If anything, Sybil was too young. This didn’t detract from her performance at all though. It absolutely felt like we were watching Sybil Fawlty as she berated Basil and Manuel as only she can.

Manuel was an absolute treat to watch. As with Basil and Sybil, his capturing of Manuel’s mannerisms, expressions, body language, and timing were precise and hilarious.

The venue wasn’t ideal. For a show set in a dining room, it was too obvious to overlook that we were in a function room instead. And a bland function room at that. I understand that in previous years the show has been performed in an actual restaurant, and I can only suspect that an environment like that would have completed the expected atmosphere

With only three of the original characters, some of the script was limited. This caused too many of the jokes to hinge on Manuel’s lack of English skills. These jokes weren’t wrong, or racist – but the percentage of them was just too high.

The meal was delicious, and I’d love to get my hands on the soup recipe, but the food really did take a back seat to the very talented cast, uproarious script, and impeccable delivery.

Congratulations to the three actors who carry this show. The faithfulness and accuracy with which they deliver this performance are truly astounding.

And no, they didn’t mention the war.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (out of 5)