Touring – reviewed at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
Club Tropicana drinks are free, fun and sunshine there’s enough for everyone… and Club Tropicana The Musical certainly encompasses fun, sunshine and epitomises the feel-good theatre production.
With all the horrors of hell we read about in the news on an almost hourly basis, the opportunity to sit in an auditorium packed with people who were out for a good time in their 80s throwback outfits was too good to miss. Club Tropicana is a musical packed to the rafters with popular 80s hits from ‘Fantastic Day’ to ‘Addicted To Love’ to ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’. I reminisced on my childhood and couldn’t wait to get on my feet with the enthusiastic crowd during the energy-infused finale.
The storyline is flimsy and ultimately cheesy, bride dumps groom on wedding day, groom and two mates go on honeymoon, bride and her two mates have the same idea. The hotel they holiday at is Club Tropicana and this particular venue for sun seekers is entered into a competition. There’s a will they/won’t they situation going on with the two managers, with over-riding concerns that the judge of the hotel competition is sneaking about. Meanwhile a flamboyant host by the name of Garry is trying his best to put a smile on everybody’s face and put-upon colleague, Consuela is causing chaos and hilarity with her ideas and signs!
Joe McElderry lights up the stage with his exceptional stage presence as Garry, his flamingo jacket looks spectacular. Of course, McElderry’s vocal ability is incredible so lends itself brilliantly to the musical numbers. Neil McDermott is superbly cast as hotel manager Robert and has wonderful chemistry opposite Amelle Berrabah as Serena. She’s been in love with Robert for years and it’s a sweet story to watch as it unfolds. Berrabah’s singing voice is as beautiful and powerful as I remember in her Sugarbabes days.
Karina Hind gives an engaging performance as the bride with cold feet, Lorraine. Well matched with Cellen Chugg Jones as jilted groom, Olly and their duet ‘Take On Me’ is pitch perfect, a real highlight of the show. Emily Tierney is on form as Christine, the feared hotel inspector who is not who everybody thinks she is. An overt character, she played her as a combination of Tanya from Mamma Mia! mixed with Cruella de Vil! A hilarious caricature of a person which Tierney embraces.
Stealing the show was the genius that is the amazing Kate Robbins, I’ve long admired her ability to mimic famous voices and her comic timing made for an audience who were in fits of laughter every time she appeared. As Consuela, Robbins is almost given free reign to be as outlandish and comical as she can be and to be able to cleverly interweave just a handful of the celebrities she can impersonate was the cherry on the cake. What a fabulous showcase of a wonderful artist.
Kudos to the Directors; Samuel Holmes and Nick Winston, the set and costume design by Diego Pitarch was simply glorious and choreography also by Nick Winston was sensational.
If you’re looking for a rollicking good night out with an easy-viewing plot, plenty to sing along to and a cast who are all at the top of their game, this is the one for you. Club Tropicana stays at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday 4 May, book your tickets now and I bet you’ll feel like you Just Can’t Get Enough! Club Tropicana Tickets