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If you’re a fan of immersive theatre, you may have heard of The Faulty Towers Dining Experience which has been a resident of London’s Theatreland since 2012. Well, Aussie-ran company Interactive Theatre International’s flagship show was clearly such a hit that this year they’ve introduced a new show to London’s immersive dining scene – The Only Fools (Cushty) Dining Experience.
The Only Fools (Cushty) Dining Experience
The Only Fools (Cushty) Dining Experience is an original immersive theatre show which transports guests to the Nags Head pub in Peckham in tribute to the popular Only Fools and Horses TV show.
In this depiction, the Nags Head is actually located in the dining room of the Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton in Bloomsbury, which on Friday and Saturday nights is transformed into the setting for Del Boy and Rodney’s rather chaotic pub quiz which comes accompanied by a cushty 3-course dinner.
From the minute you walk into the bar area the cast seamlessly integrate themselves into the audience, taking on their characters personas perfectly. Del Boy is up to his usual wheeling and dealing with a suitcase full of goodies while Cassandra is searching everywhere for missing Rodney.
Next you are ushered into the main dining room where the main show takes place and you are joined sporadically throughout the evening by other cast members including Uncle Albert, Trigger, Boycie and Marlene.
The show continues for around 2 hours, with the 3 courses being brought out at intervals throughout the evening. The food certainly isn’t 5* dining, but rather another part of the immersive experience, with simple but belly-warming pub grub including tomato soup and a good sized plate of chicken, chips and peas which you would probably get served at the Nag Head. Simple but tasty and fitting.
I can’t say much more than this about the plot without giving too much away, but I can say a little more about my own experience…
The highlight for me had to be the actors very talented portrayals of the original characters, in particular, the cheeky and enthusiastic Del Boy who had the voice and mannerisms down to a tee. However, it’s not critical to have a great knowledge of the TV show to make the most of the experience, with my guest never having seen an episode and still thoroughly enjoying herself.
The show is extremely immersive with the actors regularly interacting with guests and getting people involved. Involvement is pretty voluntary and if you’re not the type of person who likes getting up in front of people then you don’t have to. Usually, I’m not the first person to volunteer at immersive experiences, however, between a couple of cocktails, the encouraging cast and our new friendly table-mates, I soon found myself donning a colourful apron while running across the dining room with a stack of plates in hand.
See The Only Fools (Cushty) Dining Experience in London
Location: Raddison Blu Edwardian Grafton, Bloomsbury, London (the show is also doing a tour of the UK)
Dates: Fridays and Saturdays from 5th October to 14th December (2019 tickets released soon)
Time: Show starts at 7:30, doors open at 7pm
Price: £49 (for 2 hour show and 3-course meal)