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  • Review by john Murray

Drinks are free....

Where I hear you say? Well 80’s music fans will immediately acknowledge the great party song from Wham – Club Tropicana The Musical of course. For one week only the Edinburgh Playhouse brings us the sunshine, the glamour and the music of Club Tropicana and the bar did a roaring trade in cocktails too.

Starring X-Factor 2009 winner Joe McElderry, he immediately got the audience in the holiday mood by getting everyone on their feet to dance within the first five minutes. This is in fact a fun show I knew little about before seeing live on stage. He was ably supported by Nye Rees who played Robert with ease and an impressive vocal range. Kate Robbins as Cosuela was able to demonstrate her impression skills in acting and singing with numerous costume changes along the way. Her years voicing Spitting Image certainly came to the stage this week. The supporting cast too all featured at times with songs and dancing.

The story all starts at a wedding where the bride takes cold feet but still goes on holiday for the honeymoon with her two pals. Meanwhile the jilted groom goes off with his two mates to the same resort and the same Club Tropicana hotel. Meanwhile at the hotel they hear of an inspector coming to check them out so they are on alert amid all the relationship issues and songs. The music makes the show though with some memorable dance scenes like Feels Like I’m In Love and the Bucks Fizz choreography on Making Your Mind Up.

The big production on (ABCs) The Look Of Love shows what a magnificent song that is and rightfully reprised later on too. Take On Me (the Aha song) is given a good airing too in an extended form and Frankie’s Relax is worth waiting for as the show closes. Other hits include I Could Be So Good For You, Fantastic Day and Addicted To Love plus a megamix to finish the show with all the lighting effects, dance athletics and uptempo tunes. I found Church Of The Poison Mind a strange choice in the megamix and I do not recall hearing the title song at all! What we do get is a fun evening of joyous music and cool dance in 80’s summer wear and surely that puts us all in a happy mood.

Edinburgh Playhouse until June 15

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