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Belly Laughs Galore As Benidorm Proves Knockout In Bradford
Sharon Cain, Lifestyle Correspondent
Blazing success: Benidorm cast lights up Alhambra. Photo by Paul Coltas
Flirting, flamenco and frolics are among the magical ingredients of the sparkling stage version of Benidorm at the Alhambra.

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Written and created by Derren Litten, the cheeky, laughter-packed British TV sitcom aired for ten series from 1 February 2007 until 2 May 2018 with an announcement that no more TV shows would be made.

The great news is that although the show may have waved ‘adios’ to the Solana in the real Benidorm, its saucy spirit and larger than life characters remain alive and kicking in a UK and Ireland tour making waves until April 2019.

Litten’s new Alicante antics performed by much-loved cast members had fans in stitches in the quick-fire, laugh-a-minute performance with Mateo’s (Jake Canuso) oily charm and flamboyant flamenco exuding presence, precision and grace.

Joyce Temple-Savage (Sherrie Hewson) was her usual proverbial hoot. As the Solana’s number 1 fan, her obsession to save the hotel from closure - along with everyone’s jobs -resorts to her giving her £3k life savings to holidaymakers Ben and Sophie (Bradley Clarkson and Tricia Adele-Turner) who staff mistake for undercover hotel inspectors.

Flamenco fantastico: Mateo struts his stuff! Photo by Paul Coltas
As the plot becomes ever more tangled, Joyce tells the bemused but delighted couple the money is to compensate for the hotel’s stream of shortcomings.

Jacqueline’s (Janine Duvitski) double entendres contributed to the addictive mayhem and Sam’s (Shelley Longworth) bubbly and upbeat personality also translated well to the stage. Her singing talents deserve praise with her powerful version of ‘There You’ll Be’.

The hair-raising antics at Blow ‘n’ Go! are sensational - as is the rapport between Kenneth (Tony Maudsley) and Liam (Adam Gillen). The audience erupted as catastrophes included Liam mixing up customer Mrs Cattleprod’s request for a glamorous Deborah Kerr look with an Alan Carr hairstyle.
Liam’s fondness for his dad Lesley is as effusive as ever as he regales Kenneth with tales of Lesley’s extensive list of social outings while in jail - prompting Kenneth to ask if his solicitor is Thomas Cook!.

Hair-raising tales at Blow ‘n’ Go! with Kenneth and Liam. Photo by Paul Coltas
Kenneth’s chaotic love life is also further complicated when Jacqueline’s friend and fellow swinger Derek, played by Damian Williams, attempts unsuccessfully to sweep Kenneth off his feet in one of the funniest highlights.

Neptune’s Bar appropriately set the scene for the fantastic finale - enhanced by the affable presence and voice of the TV show’s regular performer, Asa Elliott - a former singer on Benidorm’s cabaret circuit who was spotted by Derren Litten and invited to join the team.

With happy endings being the essence of every great show, Benidorm didn’t disappoint with a surprise marriage proposal, the saving of the Solana - and knockout renderings of ‘Spanish Eyes’ and ‘Viva Espana’ which sent the crowd wild.

As temperatures plummeted outside, the energy, hilarity and endless entertainment thawed the frostiest of evenings as the crowds’ laughter and appreciation was set to last long after they returned home.

Commencing at 7.30pm, Benidorm runs until Saturday, November 3 at The Alhambra.

Signed performance, Wednesday, October 31, 7.30pm captioned performance, Thursday November 1, 7.30pm, Audio Described performance, Saturday, November 3, 2.30pm.

Call the Box Office on 01274 432000 or visit bradford-theatres.co.uk

Belly Laughs Galore As Benidorm Proves Knockout In Bradford, 31st October 2018, 16:36 PM