On a cold November evening in Manchester; the Sun, Sand and Fun of a Spanish getaway beckons with the stage adaptation of hit TV Series ‘Benidorm’ Live! performing at the Palace Theatre.
This stage adaption features six regular characters from the TV Series with each character receiving huge applause and cheers as they arrived on stage featuring Bartender Mateo played by Jake Canuso, Hotel Guest Jacqueline and staff member Liam played by Janine Duvitski and Adam Gillen, Hairdresser Kenneth played by Tony Maudsley, Holiday Rep Sam played by Shelley Longworth and of course Sherrie Hewson reprising her role as Joyce - the hotel manager. It’s comforting to see so many of the original TV Series stars in this adaptation and I think without, it wouldn’t work as well as it does.
The story features a totally new script and plot and will entertain an audience who might never have seen the original TV Series. Now if you are a fan of the show; you will be in your element the whole evening; none of the fun, frolics or humour has been lost in adapting this national favourite to a theatre show; if anything its even funnier with the actors having fun with the audience together and sharing in the experience and the wonderfully witty script written by Derren Little.
The first half is set in the Solana hotel with the main plot being based around two guests arriving expecting a 4 star hotel experience after being double booked; The hotel manager Joyce (Sherrie Hewson) initially trades insults with the scathing couple but soon proceeds to make sure their every whim is attended to after discovering two hotel inspectors are due at the hotel any day and decided it’s got to be them. Hilarity ensues.
The second half sees the stage turned into Neptune bar and as it’s a stage show -expect to hear a few musical numbers which are just as cheesy as you would expect, but the choreography by Alan Harding turned the numbers into something not just fun fillers but standalone highlights of the show. The story is cleverly wrapped up in the second half and I’m so glad the stage show was written as a whole new story instead of reworking old TV episodes for the reason that everyone in the audience was glued to the stage and wanted to find out the outcome, while laughing along the way.
The script is razor sharp and will not just make you chuckle, it will make you ache from laughter; the staging is set is meticulously accurate to the TV Series with clever little details wherever you look and the cast are phenomenal - bringing a TV cast out on a theatre tour would worry most, but the cast really embrace the live experience and even interact with audience members along the way, when you go to watch Benidorm Live! - It’s like stepping inside your TV and enjoying the sunshine and frolics with the rest of the guests at the Solana Hotel.
Verdict: An all-inclusive package of amusement, laughter and good old fashioned fun!
Reviewer: Max Eden
Reviewed: 26th November 2018
North West End Rating: ★★★★★