Touring – reviewed at New Wimbledon Theatre, London
A whirlwind of big hair, 80s hits, innuendos and humour, Nick Winston’s Club Tropicana isn’t a musical masterpiece but it is a whole lot of fun and a harmless piece of entertainment.
The storyline is minimal but follows Lorraine who jilts her fiancé at the alter and goes on a friend holiday to drink and dance away her blues. Her fiancé also goes on a friend holiday… to the same Spanish hotel. Said hotel is in the running to be awarded a prestigious award so they’re doing their best to impress the hotel inspector. Featuring a host of humorous characters and larger than life performances, the gaps in the book are made up for with verve and energy.
Diego Pitarch’s set doesn’t have much depth to it, but does its job exactly and brings the colour of the show to life well. Making clever use of the space, as well as using the more basic elements for comedic effect, Pitarch has done a great job. Equally, his costumes are very 80s and effective.
The cast are the life of this show, performing the 20 well-known 80s bops wonderfully. As entertainment manager Joe McElderry shines. A great voice, fab comic timing and well done audience interaction, McElderry makes a stellar addition to the cast. Neil McDermott is entertaining, if a little underused as Robert, but his performances alongside the hilarious Emily Tierney as double-crossing hotelier Christine, and lovestruck Amelle Barrabah as Serena are great. The extremely well characterised Consuela, is a sure stand out thanks to Kate Robbins’ completely hilarious portrayal, which provides laugh out loud moments every time she’s on stage.
As leading man and lady Cellen Chugg Jones and Karina Hind are marvellous. Their strong vocals are well showcased and the pair work well together.
Mention must also go to Rebecca Mendoza, Tara Verloop and Kane Verrall who give fabulous performances. The entire cast are superbly invested throughout and with Nick Winston’s choreography and Charles Ingles’ musical direction, do a stellar job of keeping the energy alive throughout.
Club Tropicana has the feel-good factor and is sure to bring a bounce to your step. For a self-aware, super cheesy but well done production, take a trip to Hotel Tropicana and laugh the night away.
Club Tropicana runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 27th April before continuing its tour.
photo credit: Darren Bell