Theatre review - Benidorm Live at Manchester Opera House
- Credit: Archant
Benidorm Live is the perfect night out for those who know and love the TV Show, and a lot of fun for those who don’t – yet!
If you enjoy the TV show Benidorm, then you’re in for a treat should you be heading to Benidorm Live, currently touring the UK. As cheesy, naughty and thoroughly silly as the small screen version, the stage show has the added charm of being able to see the show’s leading actors live on stage, doing what they do best.
It’s a standalone story, so it doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the TV series or not, though I would say those who do know it take more from the experience than those who don’t – judging by the cheers as each of the main stars arrived on stage, that was the vast majority of the audience in Manchester!
To summarise, the staff at slightly run down, definitely seen better days, Hotel Solana have been made aware that a hotel inspector has checked in, there to assess the hotel for the new owners and to recommend what changes should be made. In fear for their jobs, the team – the hotel manager Joyce Temple-Savage (played by Sherrie Hewson), beauty salon manager Kenneth (Tony Maudsley) and his side-kick Liam (Adam Gillen), bar tender Mateo (Jake Canuso), holiday maker (and swinger) Jacqueline (Janine Duvitski) and travel rep Sam (Shelley Longworth) have to figure out who the hotel inspectors are and then show them just how marvellous the Solana truly is. Cue mix-ups, mistakes and some hilarious moments of mistaken identity.
Shelley Hewson plays Temple-Savage to perfection, the arrogant yet inadequate hotel manager bossing everybody about to zero effect. Tony Maudsley’s Kenneth is hilarious and delivers some cracking one-liners and put-downs, but the star of the show has to be the marvellous Janine Duvitski; the lusty, sexually voracious swinger, who desperately misses her late husband, has absolutely the best lines in the show and sends them out there with great panache and the perfect innocence needed when double entendres are quite this crude. I hadn’t thought it possible to make the line “Ooh, are there perverts?” funny, but she does. Every scene featuring Jacqueline is a laugh a minute and she’s desperately endearing, though no doubt would be quite terrifying were she real!
Notice must also be given to Jake Canuso, who delivers the most fabulous Flamenco during the second half. His background is dance, so we shouldn’t be surprised, but it was really very good!
The set is slick, the cast is excellent, there’s music and laughter, dance and romance and the obligatory happy ending. It’s safe to say that if you’re looking for something totally British and absolutely feel-good, this is it.