Writer: Derren Litten
Director: Ed Curtis
It was announced earlier this year that the hit sitcom Benidorm would be leaving our TV sets for good. However, don’t fear as touring around the country is a fierce and hilariously fun live version of the TV Show featuring a brand new story, new characters while keeping its feet firmly in the original Benidorm sands it originates from.
The plot of the play follows on right from the end of the last televised episode of the TV show. It means not only will the theatre full of fans be happy that they can see what happens next, but the troubles and challenges of the Solana hotel make it an engaging storyline that people who aren’t aware of the series can enjoy.
Writer Darren Litten admits taking inspiration from panto to create the piece and while there are certainly elements of the genre such as staggered entrances, musical numbers and even at one point a ‘baddie’ the elements aren’t overpowering.
The most prominent element of panto is the picture postcard comedy and double entendre, particularly in the second act where it’s so well used it causes tears of laughter. This is very strictly an adult night out as some of the comedy is on the risque side, certainly much more so than the TV series but it’s certainly not tacky.
Jake Canuso, Janine Duvitski, Adam Gillen, Sherrie Hewson, Shelley Longworth and Tony Maudsley bring their original characters back to life with equal effort and humour. Meanwhile, Asa Elliott brings his talented voice and charisma back to the Neptune Bar stage.
Tricia Adele-Turner originates the new character of Sophie with her whiny snobby attitude and Bradley Clarkson plays her husband Ben who becomes the audience pleaser when he stands his own ground. Damian Williams plays Derk who makes a brilliant entrance showing his love for Kenneth and concluding the main cast is Will Jennings who plays Ricky, a man of many names and not quite the squeaky receptionist he makes out to be. The magic of live theatre struck gold when Jennings split champagne unexpectedly over Hewson’s character Joyce Temple-Savage.
Trying to create the recognisable settings of the TV programme is certainly no easy task, let alone trying to figure out how to transition from one place to the other but designer Mark Walter’s slick design does just that. The quick transitions alongside brief musical interludes are very reminiscent of the cutaways used between scenes in the television programme
With a brand new story, enough uproarious comedy to have you creasing in the isles and some upbeat musical numbers to keep things rolling, Benidorm Live is a one night riotous production that will leave you with a huge smile on your face.