Benidorm Live at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, review: '˜AÂ huge success,Â an uplifting couple of hours'
Sunny Spain arrives in Hampshire as the hit ITV comedy, Benidorm, debuts itsÂ new stage show, reuniting many of the TV show's regulars.
The showÂ features six of the TV show's regulars; suave barmanÂ Mateo (Jake Canuso), cheeky swingerÂ Jacqueline (Janine Duvitski), tantrum-prone Liam (Adam Gillen), moody managerÂ Joyce Temple-Savage (Sherrie Hewson), sassy holiday repÂ Sam (Shelley Longworth) and flamboyant hairdresser Kenneth (Tony Maudsley).
The plot works as a standalone show, but if you are a Benidorm-lover, you will adore this faithful remastering by original writerÂ Derren Litten and Ed Curtis. It features Sophie (Tricia Adele-Turner) and Ben (Bradley Clarkson), who have to spend a night in the Solana, while Joyce and her staff are stressed out byÂ a hotel inspection.
Kenneth and Liam get up to some cheeky shenanigans in Blow'N'Go, and Mateo is his usual, flirtatious, yet sleazy, self behind the pool bar.
Jacqueline, along with '˜Gay Derek' (Damian Williams), both members of the Middlesbrough Swingers Association, chipÂ in with trademark saucy quips, with the '˜sausage in cider' joke being met with an eruption of laughter.
Fan favourite, Neptune's Bar, makesÂ an appearance in the second half,Â givingÂ the cast an opportunity to show-off their many talents. And Neptune's regular, Asa Elliott, givesÂ performances throughout the show, including a fantastic rendition of Livin' La Vida Loca.
However, perhaps the most impressive display of the night was by Canuso,Â who flaunted his flamenco as the feisty '˜Fandango'.
Spanish waiter, '˜Ricky' (Will Jennings) emerges as a surprise star of the show, with hisÂ broken EnglishÂ reminiscent of Fawlty Towers' Manuel.
Despite the success, innuendos were potentially overused. At times, it felt as if the euphemisms were depended on forÂ cheap laughs.
My companion, who had never seen Benidorm on TV, thoroughly enjoyed the show.
Litten's stage productionÂ isÂ a huge success, guaranteeing continuous laughter and an uplifting couple of hours.