This week, MK Theatre welcomes Benidorm, bringing the Spanish Costa Blanca sunshine and the colourful characters that come with a bit of sun, sea, sand and sangrias. With many of your favourite original cast members including resident lothario come barman Mateo played by Jake Canuso, Janine Duvitski as Jacqueline, Sherrie Hewson as the Solana’s Manageress Joyce Temple-Savage and Shelley Longworth as Sam. Not forgetting Tony Maudsley as Kenneth and Adam Gillen as Liam who between them run the useless, hardly-ever-open hair salon Blow & Go.
What can I say? Benidorm is like Marmite, you either love it or hate it and, like marmite, I love it! I hadn’t actually ever seen a single episode of the ITV series (started 10 years ago!) until earlier this year, when I happened to binge watch all 10 series on catch up. There was just something about the weird, rude, slimy, chavvy, snobby, funny and nasty characters that warmed me to the show – either to laugh at or relate to!
Essentially, the show is about a run-down, badly managed “Four” Star hotel in Benidorm. The hotel’s posh manageress is up against a team of lazy, immature, party-loving staff and guests that are even worse. Desperate to keep the hotel above ground, and keep that fourth star hanging on, Joyce Temple-Savage has her daily battles with everyone. Mateo is more often found flirting with the guests than actually working the pool bar, Kenneth spends his nights partying and days hungover rather than running the salon whilst Liam frantically picks up the pieces and Jacqueline…is, well…Jacqueline and although she misses her late husband Donald dearly, she has many fond tales to tell of the Middlesborough Swingers Association. Sam seems to go out of her way to annoy Joyce and the rest of the staff either don’t speak English (much to the British clientele’s dismay) or are as much use as a chocolate teapot.
The stage was fab. It brought the set to life including the Solana’s reception, Blow & Go salon, pool side and Neptune’s perfectly! I loved the quirky little songs and dance routines in between the scenes which included a tongue-in-cheek dance about sleazy Spanish waiters for Mateo’s entrance and the brilliant love ballad by Gay Derek (Damian Williams). The only thing missing was Les (or Leslie), Liam’s Dad and Mateo’s best friend. A loveable Geordie transvestite who usually has his head together, unlike the rest of them, but he’s currently serving time for tax evasion (which those of you that watch the show will already know).
The whole cast clearly had fun on the stage and we had a great evening as flies-on-the-wall at Benidorm’s naffest hotel.
For tickets, head to www.atgtickets.com