Review: Fawlty Towers

As an hotel to stay at I cannot think of anywhere worse than Fawlty Towers. But watching other people’s misfortune is sometimes funnier and this is certainly the case with The Two Rivers Theatre Company’s latest production.

Director Mark Watts has chosen three of John Cleese and Connie Booth’s scripts for the company to perform at the Sir John Mills Theatre.

fawlty01The stories in question are “The Builders”, ” The Hotel Inspectors” and “The Germans”. Bear in mind that these were written and performed in the mid-1970s, a far different world and therefore certain subjects that are now regarded as political-incorrect were aired regularly on our tv screens. The conditions of transferring to the stage of Fawlty Towers is that the scripts are performed unaltered from the original and therefore the pieces should be viewed as historical.

The central characters are Sybil and Basil Fawlty played excellently by Caryn Skinner and David Turner, they even sound like Prunella Scales and John Cleese, although this isn’t meant to be parody.

Basil is essentially a bigot and therefore no offence should be taken by his comments as he pretty much hates everybody regardless of race or sex. Certainly from the mixed audience around me I saw no offence, what I did see and hear was lots of smiles and laughter.

fawlty02This truly is a marvellous evening, the acting and comic timing from all the cast is spot-on and it is this which makes all three pieces work so well. I’ve said it before, but, Two Rivers Theatre Company are one of our lesser known local am-dram companies, they shouldn’t be as in my opinion they are one of the most talented.

Fawlty Towers plays at the Sir John Mills Theatre, Gatacre Road, Ipswich until Saturday 16th May. The show is selling well but if you can check-in I strongly recommend you to make your reservation with the Box Office (01473 211498), as you are guaranteed of an enjoyable stay!

Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine