Edinburgh Playhouse – until Saturday 15 June 2019
Reviewed by Manetta McIntosh
Take a fondue set because the cheese is delicious. The 80’s was my era for music so I was excited about this musical, but it has far exceeded my expectations. It took a minute for me to settle into the production, the story follows a young couple about to get married but cold feet set in, the bride calls it off although decides to go on the honeymoon with her two friends. Funny old thing, the jilted groom does the same thing and they end up at the same resort…let the games commence.
Team Bride, played by Karina Hind (bride), Tara Verloop and Rebecca Mendoza were basically your typical 80’s group of friends; the sensible cute one, the goodtime girl and the funny one in that order.
Team Groom, played by Cellen Chugg Jones (groom), Rory Phelan and Kane Verrall were your typical 80’s blokes, the sensible cute one, the goodtime boy and the ‘sensitive’ one…you get the picture.
The songs set the scene, from Don’t Leave Me This Way to Making Your Mind Up, this was a musical blast from the past. I did not think some of the songs would work in a ‘show-tunes’ format, but they just did. The singing was excellent, the range of some of the songs would have been a challenge for most but Cellen hitting those A-Ha high notes was incredible.
Once the ‘teams’ get to Club Tropicana there really was fun and sunshine for everyone. Gary (Joe McElderry) and Consuela (Kate Robbins) absolutely stole the show for me. The script and their delivery was undeniably on point. I was crying with laughter from the moment they came on stage. But for me, the line of the show has to go to Christina (Emily Tierney) who, whilst considering which cocktail to have, asked Robert (Nye Rees) if he’d ever had a Tight Snatch, I thought I was going to pass out.
There was more intrigue at the holiday destination as the hotel owners, Serena (Amelle Berrabah) and Robert (Nye Rees) discovered the deceitful Christina (Emily Tierney) was trying to sabotage their business and their relationship. But true love and friendship prevails in the end.
You don’t have to have lived through the 80’s to enjoy this show but it definitely helps to understand the hairstyles and shoulder pads. The music transcends the decades and the generations and had everyone up on their feet towards the end. My favourite song has to be Relax sung by the amazing Joe McElderry, he is an exceptionally talented performer in my opinion. I was disappointed that they didn’t sing Club Tropicana but this musical is indeed a whole night’s holiday, so if you want to brush shoulders with the stars, this is the place for you.