I’m fairly late to the Benidorm band bus. Over the years I’d tried watching a few episodes but never really got into it. Then over the Christmas holidays there I spotted it on Netflix and since then watching it has become almost a daily occurrence. Watching it without waiting a week between episodes worked for me, I’ve become an avid fan of Les, Kenneth, Liam and their dithering boss Joyce Temple-Savage.
When I noticed the stage version was coming to Belfast I knew I wanted to see it. As I took my seat in the Grand Opera House the curtain was up and the set was set up in-front of me. There it was; The Solana 3 (sometimes 4) star hotel. The stage looked great, all set around a revolving centrepiece that seamlessly changed the look for each new scene. The stage version of the show features six of the cast from the TV show; Jake Canuso
As the horny waiter Mateo, Tony Maudsley as Kenneth the camper than life hair stylist to the stars, Sherrie Hewson as Joyce the bumbling hotel manager, Janine Duvitski as Jacqueline the Solana Hotel’s resident swinger with a heart of gold, Adam Gillen (my favourite) as Liam who’s Blow and Go’s suffering stylist, and Shelley Longworth as Sam the hotel’s scheming holiday rep. I set excitedly waiting for the show to start.
Well, literally from the show started so did the laughs. From start to finish the house was in fits of side splitting laughter. The basic plot centres around news that The Solana is being sold to a bigger hotel chain which means everyone’s job is in jeopardy. Throw into the mix that there’s a hotel inspector secretly monitoring everyone’s move all makes for a very funny show. I don’t want to give very much else away – I don’t want to spoil it for you. But, just like the TV show, the stage production successfully mixes ridiculous sexual innuendo, deep belly laughs, all together with heart-warming stories of family ties, love, and friendship.
The show is exceptionally well put together, great acting, necessary overacting, camp karaoke singing, and as I said, all presented on an amazing set. As an audience we laughed, we felt warm and fuzzy, we sang along, and even danced along at parts.
I see a lot of theatre productions, and very few have had me laughing along or feeling as good at the end as this one have. Definitely worth seeing!
Visit www.goh.co.uk for info on tickets