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Saturday, October 5, 2019


(Mark Mulder & Annie Robinson)

It works as a great night out for all “Fawlty Towers” fans, and even those who have never experienced the TV series before. (Review by Barry Meehan)

Fawlty Towers has long been regarded as probably the finest British sitcom ever made. It has stood the test of time, even though it was created 40 years ago, and has been appreciated by many generations of comedy fans. Unfortunately, there were only 12 episodes in total, leaving fans baying for more of the comic genius of John Cleese (Basil Fawlty), Prunella Scales (Sybil Fawlty). Andrew Sachs (Manuel) and Connie Booth (Polly). The remarkable thing about it is that it almost didn’t come into being, as the BBC script editor who originally read it thought that it was “awful”!

The performances were iconic and never-to-be-forgotten, with some of the more famous lines being repeated in conversations around the world by those with a talent for impersonation (and sometimes by those who don’t!)

Fortunately, Mark Mulder and Annie Robinson both have truly remarkable talent, and their performances in Fawlty Flowers, currently playing at Rhumbelow Tina’s in Kloof, are truly outstanding, delighting their opening night audience as Basil, Sybil, Manuel, Polly, the Major, Mrs Richards, Mrs Penoir and several others were brought to life with a variety of wigs, moustaches, bits of clothing and accessories in a helter-skelter two-hour show, cleverly devised and directed by Paul Spence. From the moment Robinson let rip with a perfect Sybil laugh and the iconic “I knoooo-ooooow” along with “Basil…!!”, we were immersed in the oddball and off-beat humour of the series.

The main focus of Fawlty Towers/Flowers is of course the relationship between Basil and Sybil, which Mulder and Robinson play out to perfection. It would probably best be described as long-suffering, both of them feeling put upon by the other. There is a wonderful moment which sums up the relationship when Basil asks “You remember when we got together? We used to laugh a lot.” The stunning retort from Sybil is “Yes, Basil, but not at the same time!”

So many favourite scenes are included in the show, standouts being (in my humble opinion) Basil’s discovery of Manuel’s pedigree Siberian hamster when the Health Inspectors are due to arrive, the deaf guest, Mrs Richards (played by both Mulder and Robinson during the same scene), Basil’s chat about women with the Major (with Mulder hilariously playing both characters simultaneously), Mrs Renoir’s attempted seduction of Basil, and the German guests (“Don’t mention the War”), during which Basil has his final breakdown.

Roland Stansell from the Rhumbelow is to be commended for bringing this production to Tina’s, as it is far removed from the norm at his venues. It works as a great night out for all Fawlty Towers fans, and even those who have never experienced the TV series before.

There are two more performances at Tina’s – tonight (Saturday) at 20h00, and tomorrow (Sunday) at 14h00. The theatre venue opens 60 minutes before show for drinks.

Tickets R150 (R130 pensioners) and tables seat 8. (No alcohol or food may be brought on to the premises). Tickets are cash or EFT only. Secure parking is available. Booking is through Computicket or contact Roland (also for large group booking discounts of 20 or more) on 082 499 8636 or email: or visit

Tina’s Hotel is situated at 14 Beryldene Road in Kloof.

Fawlty Flowers moves to Sandton, Johannesburg, to the Theatre on the Square with performances from October 15 to 26. If you need a great laugh, don’t miss it! – Barry Meehan