REVIEW | Benidorm Live brings a taste of Spain to Birmingham – and you won’t want to miss it

The Alexandra has long held its tradition of giving a classic panto the cold shoulder, and this year it’s brought some winter sun to the city in the shape of Benidorm Live.

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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The cult show came to an end earlier this year after entertaining fans for 10 years, but the show’s creator, Derren Litten has transferred it to the stage in a fantastic new show featuring six of the original characters.

Admittedly, I’ve never actually seen Benidorm before, so I took my seat in The Alexandra Theatre not quite knowing what the evening had in store for me, but I wasn’t disappointed.

1. BENIDORM LIVE. Tony Maudsley 'Kenneth', Shelley Longworth 'Sam', Damian Williams 'Derek', Janine Duvitski 'Jacqueline', Adam Gillen 'Liam'. Photo Paul Coltas
Credit: Paul Coltas

Benidorm Live is more than capable of standing on its own two feet, with a comical storyline that sees the lovable staff and guests of the Solana hotel trying to sniff out undercover spies who are planning to take over Joyce Temple Savage’s (Sherrie Hewson) Spanish destination.

Though I occasionally sat wondering if I’d missed something when a vast majority of the audience was left chuckling away from time to time, or the cheers when iconic characters entered the stage, that didn’t take away from the fact that Benidorm Live is possibly one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in ages.

The cast is truly talented, and it’s so easy to see why Benidorm has become such a treasured show over the years. At points I found myself questioning how they actually manage to get through the whole performance without while keeping a straight face.

Of course, this was tested when Loose Women’s Sherrie Hewson fluffed a line, leaving the cast doing their ultimate best to keep it together while the audience sat with tears streaming down their faces.

Special mention must also go to Adam Gillen, who absolutely nailed his performed as the slightly chaotic but equally lovable Liam, especially during his solo number during the hilarious cabaret scene.

6. BENIDORM LIVE. Tony Maudsley 'Kenneth' and Adam Gillen 'Liam'. Photo Paul Coltas
Credit: Paul Coltas

Be warned that this is far from a pantomime or family show, but if what you’re looking for is a taste of Spain with a hit of pure camp humour and bucketful of double entendre, then I can assure you that this show has everything you need to brighten up even the coldest of winter nights.

Whether you’re a devoted fan or not, it doesn’t matter. Benidorm Live devilishly funny, hilariously rude and an absolute joy to watch from beginning to end.

Benidorm Live runs at The Alexandra until Saturday, December 29. Don’t miss out and book your tickets now!

Viva Espana!

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