In 2006 Derren Litten created a british sitcom for ITV based on family holidays at an all inclusive resort in Benidorm, Spain, which quickly became a cult hit with UK viewers. Fast forward to 2019 and although after 10 seasons the TV show has come to an end, the live tour kicks off right after the final episode and boy, its a treat!
The story begins with a posh family trying to check in to the hotel, with the usual ‘poor service’ expected from the show and the hilarious back and forth of the language barrier between british tourists and spanish staff. Carrying on from the TV show the hotel chain is about to be taken over from another company, with the new parent company sending an undercover investigator to check the standards of the hotel that the staff have caught wind of, and are doing their very best to provide the best service for this unknown investigator with many plot twists along the way, all whilst providing some of the best jokes and references from the 10 series the show aired.
The stage itself portrayed a great representation of the hotel used in the show, having stayed there a few times myself, the small details of the balconies, the entrance and the half fallen off fourth star, really stood out that they had put some real effort in to live tour. The stage background also changed for each scene with great detail put in for the salon, the pool bar and Neptunes bar that really made you feel like you were a part of it. It was also brilliant seeing the cutaways being close to the TV shows scene change albeit with the actors dancing and singing while the stage was being set up. Asa Elliot provided great songs to sing along to and Jake Canuso (who plays swoozy barman Mateo) providing some dancing eye candy for the ladies in the audience!
One of my favourite parts of the show was the story of Kenneth du Beke (played by Tony Maudsley), the gay hairdresser who works in the hotels salon, who is uncomfortably confronted by Gay Derek (Damian Williams) a friend of the salons swinging owner, Jacquelin Stewart (Janine Duvitski). When the two were left alone hilarity ensues with Gay Derek confessing his love for Kenneth in song and dance, and may have come on a little too strong for Kenneth to handle! Tony Maudsley showed his brilliance of acting skills trying to escape and his fantastic fourth wall breaking had the crowd in stitches. I also cannot forget Sherrie Hewson who played hotel manageress Joyce Temple-Savage was absolutely fantastic in her role and played to the crowd beautifully.
For someone who is an avid fan of the show, it really was fantastic watching the show being brought to life on stage but for someone who may have never seen the show before, it can be a bit confusing at some points about why this character is in the show or what the references may be about, so I definitely recommend watching the TV show before the live show. Although his acting was absolutely perfect, it felt like Adam Gillen (who plays young hairdresser Liam) was putting a little too much effort into his characters voice compared to the TV show. You may also need some sunglasses for Shelley Longworth’s dress, which was as blinding as her performance!
For anyone who is a Benidorm fan or has watched the show, it is a must see, tongue in cheek comedy that everyone knows and loves from the TV show and with some fantastic jokes and references will surely put a smile on your face.