Review: Benidorm Live! ★★★★★

By Peter May

Having enjoyed a decade on ITV, Benidorm became a sleeper hit and has become one of the UK’s most beloved sitcoms. It is known for its bawdy humour featuring an ensemble cast of holidaymakers and staff at the Solana all-inclusive hotel in Benidorm, Spain over the course of a week each year.

The action is set among the Solano hotel grounds with a revolving set flipping between Neptune’s Bar, the lobby and the Blow and Go hair salon. Staff are in for a shock when news breaks that the hotel is threatened with a takeover of the resort leaving them to fear for their jobs. Soon things at the hotel couldn’t get any worse, and when word gets out that undercover hotel inspectors are here from their proposed new owners, farcical antics ensue with a few song and dance routines thrown in for good measure.

There’s a wealth of gags as a snobby couple check into the hostelry after a problem with their original hotel. They have a hard time due to a new, indifferent employee. As each of the beloved characters makes their debut (to the sort of audience reception usually reserved for rock stars), the story starts to unfold.

Ten years together has made the cast gel incredibly well, Jake Canuson, Sherrie Hewson, Tony Maudsley and Janine Duvitski are like cogs in a well-oiled machine.  A fluffed line on the press night all adds to the fun, but the show really flies thanks to the mix and laugh out loud gags. With the shows cancellation last year, this is your only chance to get your fix to see new material and the script doesn’t disappoint.

New Wimbledon Theatre until 16 March, then touring around the UK

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