Writer: Derren Litten
Director: Ed Curtis
Reviewer: Marie Smith
Camp, cheesy and ridiculously crude, Benidorm Live successfully brings the hugely popular TV programme to life. Derren Litten’s stage version of Benidorm has the audience in hysterics from the word go and successfully captures the laugh out loud moments and feel good factor from the programme.
Benidorm Live follows the holidaymakers and staff at the famous all-inclusive, tacky Solana Resort in Benidorm, Spain. Popular stars from the series Joyce (Sherrie Hewson), Liam (Adam Gillen), Kenneth (Tony Maudsley), Mateo (Jake Canuso), Jacqueline (Janine Duvitski) and Sam (Shelley Longworth) strive to reveal who the undercover hotel inspectors are who are trying to shut down Solana Resort. They are convinced it’s a posh couple who are forced to spend two nights at the budget hotel when in actual fact it turns out to be one of their own team!
Performed on Mark Walters’ bright and cheery set, which smoothly transitions between the hotel reception, poolside, Blow’N’Go salon and Neptune’s entertainment bar, Benidorm Live is a show which achieves everything fans hope it will, comedy, music and lots of crude, hilarious jokes. The cast freeze in the background as the action changes from scene to scene or dance across the stage so the audience don’t even notice the transition.
Just like the TV programme, the stage version is a hit because of the hugely talented and hilarious cast- Duvitski steals the show with her laugh out loud jokes and filthy humour as Jacqueline with plenty of witty play on words such as how she enjoys a ‘sausage in cider!’ Hewson is her brilliant self throughout and simply loved by the audience during her whole performance as she prances around barking orders and not realising what a terrible manager she actually is. Sleazy, smooth Mateo brings his character to life as he gyrates to Livin’ La Vida Loca and tries to seduce the female holidaymakers. Longworth gives a beautiful rendition of Faith Hill’s There You’ll be and her strong vocals are really unexpected given the ditzy, useless girl she portrays. Maudsley’s Kenneth and Gillen’s Liam do not disappoint either and both play their outrageous, feminine and OTT characters exceptionally well.
Litten’s stage debut certainly entertains and the audience cheer and sing along throughout. It must be noted that there is not a lot of narrative to the whole evenining, but the humour and performances more than make up for any narrative shortcomings. The second half in Neptune’s entertainment bar is where the cast tries to win over the inspector with their performances. Asa Elliott who plays himself shows off his great vocals.
A riotous night out – especially with a group of friends, and don’t worry if you haven’t seen the TV show, the plot is super easy to follow and the humour will have you crying with laughter. Benidorm Live is as camp as Christmas!
Runs until 1 Dec 2018 | Image:Contributed