Club Tropicana, drinks are free. Fun and sunshine, there’s enough for everyone!
Never enough I say! This flamboyant homage to the electric Eighties is unashamedly celebratory of the era – from the brick mobile phones to the back combs and shoulder pads, for those of us who came of age in this decade, it’s, among other things, an unadulterated nostalgia fest.
Club Tropicana is the latest success story of the popular jukebox musical genre – a storyline weaved between the hits of the decade. If you’re a fan of this music what’s not to love?
Following an abrupt change of heart on the morning of her wedding, bride Lorraine, played by Karina Hind, and her friends decide to get away from it all by going on the (non-refundable) honeymoon together. Whilst separately Olly, actor Cellen Chugg Jones, and his laddish mates have similar intentions and the inevitable happens.
Meanwhile, amidst the ordered chaos of running a business, there’s another sort of trouble in paradise, with interfering inspectors threatening the hotel with closure. Will the budding bride and groom get back together? And will the resort survive another summer?
Plus the undercurrent of a relationship between the hotel managers is adding to a lack of focus just when it’s needed.
Running around with the proverbial sticking plaster trying to hold everything together is the irresistibly camp entertainments manager Gary – played superbly by X-Factor’s Joe McElderry.
This romantic comedy is an effervescent and delightfully uplifting production that revels in visual slapstick. And it’s carried off with absolute aplomb, particularly by my personal star of the show Kate Robbins whose hysterical portrayal of Consuela the Spanish cleaning lady, is like nothing you’ll have seen before – although there were echoes of Acorn Antiques’ Mrs Overall at times.
It had the audience rolling, as much as dancing, in the aisles.
Of course the real star of the show is the ever-present soundtrack. And what a soundtrack! From Fantastic Day, Addicted To Love, She Drives Me Crazy and Take On Me to Jump, Relax, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Just Can’t Get Enough – and we couldn’t. Just as well there are more than 25 hits packed into the show – including a couple of TV themes from the era you might recognise!
Whether or not you lived through the Eighties, these are all iconic tunes that everyone will be familiar with – and want to dance to.
Club Tropicana The Musical is as outrageous as the leotards and leggings of the day – and that’s exactly why it works. Catch it if you can.
It plays at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry until Saturday. Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055 or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are even cheaper.