Last week I was in the West End watching one of the most revolutionary shows of our time filled with culture and history. This week I’m sat watching a gaudy remake of the noughties sitcom Benidorm. Contrast is the word that comes to mind.
The TV series Benidorm is loved by many and has successfully run for nine series, bringing characters such as the Garveys to life. As I am not a Benidorm expert myself, I have sought advice from my mother who has had the series on back to back the week leading up to seeing the show.
Benidorm Live strengths came from the fact that they had a large proportion of the original TV cast in the show. Jake Canuso and Janine Duvitski brought cheers upon arrival brought iconic moments and lines with them from the series to stage.
The writer Derren Litten had squeezed in the key points from the series into the 2 hour show. From Liam and his dad to the Neptune bar karaoke, there were recognisable stories and themes but they were piled onto of each other and drenched in an over generous load of vulgar jokes.
It was a surface level show filled with relentless filthy humour. My mum said the show didn’t live up to the TV series as there was considerably less depth and substance to the story and characters. There simply wasn’t enough time to cram 9 series worth of plot and character development but simultaneously I only just about handled the two hours alone!
I did enjoy the character of Liam, Adam Gillen’s physical comedy was humorous and a relief from the bombardment of euphemisms. I also thought the rotating set and scenery was effective and efficient.
We were also treated to a few performances from Jake Canuo as he danced circles round the stage… and the rest of the cast. In the TV series we catch glimpses of his talents but the stage version was a chance for him to show off what he can do, flamenco and all!
It’s like Ben, the customer at Solanna Hotel, said, “There are two ways to holiday in Benidorm, you can fight against it or can go with the flow and enjoy it.” Similarly there are two ways to receive this production, the choice is yours.
Overall it was clear that the audience got what they wanted and bought the ticket for as they stood and cheered. Whatever my personal taste is, there was one satisfied Bristol audience in the Hippodrome that night.