DramaMusicalReviewSouth West

Club Tropicana The Musical – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer: Michael Gyngell

Music: Greg Arrowsmith

Director: Samuel Holmes

Choreographer: Nick Winston

Reviewer: Georgie Bird

Club Tropicana The Musical delivers what anyone would expect – wonderfully cheesy 80s music, fun energetic choreography, and plenty of laughs. The set perfectly complements the music; loud, colourful and fun. The costumes are an adept reminder of the many questionable fashion choices in the 80s. Sadly, for reasons unknown George Michael’s and Andrew Ridgeley’s Club Tropicana is absent. However, there are so many other fantastic 80’s songs included that this is a minor issue.

The show is opened by Joe McElderry who plays entertainment rep Garry in a wonderfully camp performance. Throughout he interacts directly with the audience, getting everyone to cheer and sing along. McElderry’s voice does seem criminally underused, although his version of Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood is something to behold.

The plot of Club Tropicana is simple and clichéd. The bride-and-groom-to-be get cold feet just before they are due to marry and call the whole thing off. Devastated, but both of course wanting to make use of their honeymoon, they holiday to hotel Club Tropicana with their friends and predictably meet. This sets the scene for a wide range of 80s classics performed to lively dance routines with plenty of comedy.

Club Tropicana is run by owners Serena and Robert who have their own unrequited love story. This feels a slightly unnecessary back story, although it does provide some good comic moments with Serena’s love and hotel rival Christine, played with wonderful cartoon humour by Emily Tierney.

One criticism of the musical is that some of the toilet humour seemed unnecessarily crass and out of place, although it did generate a few laughs. There was the odd joke that fell flat, however, the humour of the show does not pretend to be clever, and fits in well with the silly and light-hearted nature of the musical.

Club Tropicana is refreshingly lax on political correctness, with a stereotypical Spanish maid Consuela played brilliantly by Kate Robbins. Robbins provides a lot of the laughs with her spot-on impressions and outlandish costume changes. She is arguably the highlight of the whole show.

Club Tropicana brings people back to the spirit of the 80s with its brilliant choreography, casting and music choices. By the end of the musical everyone in the audience was up clapping and dancing; the show brought a smile to everyone’s face. If that isn’t the mark of a successful musical, it is hard to say what is.

Runs until 16th March 2019 | Image: Contributed

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The Southwest team is under the editorship of John McRoberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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