24 Apr

The Musical

by Michael Gyngell

at the New Wimbledon Theatre

This show is an undoubted crowd pleaser. Wonderful to see this theatre crammed with so many happy people. It is a jukebox musical with a slight story wrapped around it. But most of the songs come from the eighties and obviously a joy for those who spent their teenage years listening to pop music.
It begins on the wedding day of Lorraine and Olly – song “Fantastic Day.”
Unfortunately Lorraine suddenly decides she doesn’t want to get married after all “Girls just wanna have Fun” and she jilts him. Afraid of what her mother and the rest of her family and friends might say, she decides to go on the honeymoon anyway along with her two chums.
Olly, devastated by her rejection decides he must go on holiday – and as the honeymoon has already been booked – he and his two friends decide to take up the booking.
This is just the excuse for the trip to Club Tropicana a run down resort hotel in Spain which is where the musical really starts. Neil McDermott as Robert and Amelle Berrabah as Serena are the couple of friends who run the hotel. They are alarmed to find that a hotel inspector is due to come and hotel inspect them so they have to do a general clean up. The main problem is lack of guests so they call on the entertainments officer to help them and concoct some thing to create a good impression and attract customers.
This is where we meet the star of the show, Joe McElderry – a winner of x factor back in the day – who plays Garry, the entertainments officer and gives us his camp MC using some old panto jokes – “I’m wearing Tupperware undies – keeps my things nice and fresh” etc. He also gets the audience going, inviting them to join in whenever they can.
He is partnered by the wonderful Kate Robbins who plays Consuela the waitress, but despite her Spanish name, has an enormous repertoire of comedy impressions and costumes and plays a whole crowd of guests who are presumably staying at the hotel.
Nick Winston who has choreographed the nineteen players has contributed enormously to the ensemble work in this production. He is also co director with Samuel Holmes and there is a lot to admire in their comic ingenuity.It is good that the entire company join in the production numbers. Gives the show a party feeling.
Many of the laughs come from Emily Tierney who plays Christine, the very posh and rather horrid person who comes in as the Inspector and creates some of the ensuing havoc.
Your humble reviewer did know some of the numbers in Act two which were mostly TV signature tunes “I could be so good for you” “Making your Mind up” etc
This is, as I said, aimed at a certain audience and it obviously succeeds brilliantly.

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