Benidorm Live at first look could be a travel show, you know the sort enjoy some Sangria and get holiday offers on the night. Anyone who has enjoyed the TV series since 2007 and thrilled as they won two National Television Awards plus BAFTA nominations however will flock to see the cast on stage. They did not disappoint either reminding me at times when I saw Carry On London on the stage and at last witnesses the screen characters come to life. There are acknowledged parallels here too says writer Derren Litten even with the techniques of the star entrances being staggered to allow the audience the expectation and recognition as they came on.
All aspects of the hit TV show are here as the scenes switch seamlessly from Blow & Go hair salon to hotel reception to poolside to Neptune’s Bar. Each transition brilliantly choreographed with cast movement, music bridge and animated set. The story surrounds the threatened closure of the hotel and hotel inspectors being present but undercover. Along the way there are numerous flirtations, dating and more double entendre than even the Carry On series ever attempted. Hilarity is continuous from this most professional of actors with some musical numbers we all know and love from the whole ensemble or from club singer Asa Elliott playing himself.
Jake Canuso as Mateo is every bit the gigolo he is on screen, Sherrie Hewson as manager Joyce is delightful, Janine Duvitski as Jacqueline has some killer comedy lines, Liam (Adam Gillen) is convincingly persecuted, Shelley Longworth as Sam we need to see more of and Tony Maudsley as camp Kenneth dominates the stage with his presence and comic timing.
A huge cast, well written script and colourful holiday set had the whole house on their feet at the finale as they came back for a curtain call and a brilliant night of comedy theatre.
Edinburgh Playhouse till September 22