Benidorm Live at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, review: ‘A huge success, an uplifting couple of hours’

Benidorm Live
Benidorm Live

Sunny Spain arrives in Hampshire as the hit ITV comedy, Benidorm, debuts its new stage show, reuniting many of the TV show’s regulars.

The show features six of the TV show’s regulars; suave barman Mateo (Jake Canuso), cheeky swinger Jacqueline (Janine Duvitski), tantrum-prone Liam (Adam Gillen), moody manager Joyce Temple-Savage (Sherrie Hewson), sassy holiday rep 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 writer 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 by 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, chip in with trademark saucy quips, with the ‘sausage in cider’ joke being met with an eruption of laughter.

Fan favourite, Neptune’s Bar, makes an appearance in the second half, giving the cast an opportunity to show-off their many talents. And Neptune’s regular, Asa Elliott, gives 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, who flaunted his flamenco as the feisty ‘Fandango’.

Spanish waiter, ‘Ricky’ (Will Jennings) emerges as a surprise star of the show, with his broken English reminiscent of Fawlty Towers’ Manuel.

Despite the success, innuendos were potentially overused. At times, it felt as if the euphemisms were depended on for cheap laughs.

My companion, who had never seen Benidorm on TV, thoroughly enjoyed the show.

Litten’s stage production is a huge success, guaranteeing continuous laughter and an uplifting couple of hours.

Until Saturday.