Take a front row seat at Neptune’s for the Solana hotel’s best night ever – Benidorm LIVE met with fantastic reception for its opening night at the Regent Theatre
Now I know what you are thinking… how on earth can they take the hit TV show – which incidentally has been running for over 10 years – out of Benidorm and onto the stage in Stoke-on-Trent? Is it possible to bring those brash, eccentric and ‘lively’ characters to life without the backdrop of the sunny Costa Blanca resort? Well, the answer is simple. Yes. In fact, the fictional Solana hotel where the ITV series is set can quite easily be re-envisaged in the theatre! And the result is a hilariously funny ‘live’ episode of the show that had Monday night’s audience crying with laughter and cheering in delight.
Sure, you won’t see all the characters from the TV show, now in its tenth series, nine of which you can watch on Netflix currently, but the production has key faces that make the transition from TV to stage smooth and seamless. The line up includes the show’s longest running cast members – Jake Canuso (Mateo Castellano) and Janine Duvitski (Jacqueline Stewart), a well as popular Tony Maudsley (Kenneth du Beke), Adam Gillen (Liam), Sherrie Hewson (Joyce Temple-Savage) and Shelley Longworth (Sam Wood), as well as featuring Neptune’s very own Asa Elliott.
As normal, the story follows the guests and staff at the 3* (was 4) Benidorm hotel, but this time the hotel is due to be sold to a bigger hotel chain and the staff fear they will lose their jobs as undercover hotel inspectors staying at the hotel expose their hospitality failings. Armed with the knowledge of who they think the inspectors are they set about trying to impress them in their own vulgar and over-the-top way to try and ensure their jobs are safe.
There are other storylines weaved in around Liam’s father being released from prison, Jacqueline’s long-lost friend hoping to find love with Kenneth and Sam’s new love with one of the waiters. And there are plenty of the one-liners, innuendos, jokes, heartfelt friendship and sarcasm you would expect from the TV show with just the right amount of singing and dancing thrown in.
Written by Derren Litten, who has done a superb job with the script, the show is set against a backdrop of four scenery changes – poolside, the reception, the salon and Neptune’s bar – which rotate throughout the show. It is a laugh-a-minute performance with Tony Maudsley stealing the show and getting the biggest laughs as the camp salon owner Kenneth. But all the stars make the show the hit it is.
From the flamenco feet of the saucy Mateo (Canuso) to the exquisite comedy of Janine Duvitski as the sex-crazed innuendo queen Jacqueline, and the beautiful voice of Shelley Longwood who plays Sam. And that’s not forgetting Sherrie Hewson, who oozes glamour and stage presence as the hotel’s manager ‘Temple-Savage’, and the nice but a little silly Liam, who has a heart of gold showcasing Adam Gillen’s fabulous acting abilities.
And don’t think you need to have seen the TV show to understand it on stage – you don’t. Little has made it equally enjoyable for first-timers as well as long-standing fans.
So grab your Sex On The Beach cocktails and head on down for an absolute blinder of a night. A great show to start the Regent’s season!
Benidorm Live is on at The Regent, Stoke-on-Trent until Saturday 28th September 2018. Tickets are available from The Regent Theatre Box Office, or by calling 0844 871 7649.