It was clear from walking through the doors of The Everyman Theatre that Club Tropicana was all about fun. Members of the public had dressed in their best 80s gear, leaving me feeling quite underdressed!
Walking into the auditorium, 80s anthems blared from the speakers, setting the scene for the two hours of musical nostalgia about to unfold, as we jetted off to sunny Spain for a package holiday on steroids!
There’s no denying that Club Tropicana is everything you want from an entertaining night at the theatre. Not taking itself too seriously, the performance was full of energy, funny pop-culture references and so incredibly colourful it was an absolute riot to watch. A true love letter to the 1980s.
After being jilted on his wedding day Olly, played by talented vocalist Cellan Chugg Jones, decides to head to Spain to get away from it all, while unbeknownst to his comedic tribe of friends, they’ve booked into his honeymoon hotel – the Club Tropicana, where his former fiancée Lorraine (Karina Hind), has also travelled with her bridesmaids.
In true farcical style, madness ensues as the couple discovers each-other’s existence, while the hotel itself tries to impress the inspector for an important award.
Club Tropicana The Musical combines physical comedy with fabulous jokes, camp innuendos and phenomenal vocal performances – a perfect cocktail that puts even a Pina Colada to shame.
With a number of big names taking on the roles in this original musical, audiences were treated to fabulous renditions of hits such as ‘Physical’, ‘Jump (For My Love), ‘Relax’ and a truly haunting version of ‘Take on Me’, which was a real goose bump moment.
As mentioned in our interview with Joe McElderry, The X Factor star’s character, Garry, is performed with high-energy and has a camp charm reminiscent of Hi-de-Hi, leaving the audience roaring with laughter at every stage exit.
Two other stand-out performances were from former Sugababe, Amelle Berrabah as the vulnerable and loved-up hotelier, Serena; and Emily Tierney as Christine, whose portrayal of uptight hotel inspector Christine had us in stitches.
While Club Tropicana is packed full of big names and funny gags, there were none more memorable than Kate Robbins as Consuela, an underappreciated Spanish cleaner.
The iconic comedy actress is best known for her impressions, having voiced most of the female puppets on Spitting Image for a decade. Many of her side-splitting impressions feature in the musical, in a role that I can’t imagine being played as competently by any other.
A word of warning though, just watch out for her sign…
By Melissa Hamblett
Thursday 11 April 2019
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