PREVIEW: Benidorm Live
Posted on September 3rd 2018 by Whats on Northeast
Although residents of the Solana hotel have drunk their last sangria on the small screen, North East fans of the hit ITV comedy Benidorm can rejoice because Benidorm Live, the new stage show based on the TV programme will premiere at Newcastle Theatre Royal, starring six of the original TV cast.
Set to bring a heady dose of Spanish sunshine and smiles to Newcastle audiences, the first ever stage version of Derren Litten’s award-winning ITV comedy Benidorm Live opens on Friday 7 September at Newcastle Theatre Royal prior to a major national tour. It will run for two weeks until Saturday 15 September.
Six members of the TV cast, all much loved stars from the infamous Solana Hotel, will perform in the hotly anticipated new show. Swapping the poolside for the stage after a quick spruce at the Blow ‘n’ Go! will be everyone’s favourites Jake Canuso (local lothario barman Mateo), Janine Duvitski (middle aged swinger Jacqueline), Adam Gillen (holidaying teenager Liam), Sherrie Hewson (Solana manageress Joyce Temple-Savage), Shelley Longworth (loud mouthed lassie Sam), and Tony Maudsley (flamboyantly camp hairdresser Kenneth).
The show is also co-produced by Newcastle’s own Michael Harrison, the wunderkind behind our spectacular annual pantomime and West End hits The Bodyguard, Gypsy, Sunset Boulevard, Annie and Young Frankenstein.
Litten has written a new set of Alicante escapades for the debut stage production of the hugely popular show. On making its transfer, writer Derren Litten said: “I’ve loved ten years of writing my TV show Benidorm but despite a successful writing career I’m first and foremost a performer so have always been secretly frustrated I couldn’t hear the audience’s laughter. This national tour of Benidorm Live will not only make a long lasting dream come true but will also mean I no longer have to stand in strangers gardens listening at their windows at 9 o’clock on cold winter evenings.”
Last year ITV’s smash-hit comedy celebrated a decade of all-inclusive hilarity, having followed the ensemble cast of holiday makers and staff for nine series since the first episode in 2007. Season 10 was broadcast earlier this year and the final ever episode aired on 2 May 2018.
After leaving school in Hull in the late 1980’s Derren Litten spent a year working as a professional magician whilst auditioning for drama schools. He won a place on the 3 year acting course at the prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama where he met fellow student Catherine Tate. After 10 years of working as an actor, Derren was asked by Catherine to write for her newly commissioned TV sketch show, The Catherine Tate Show; in which he also appeared in many of the sketches. After co-writing and appearing in two series and a Christmas Special, Derren was given a script commission by legendary comedy producer Geoffrey Perkins, “just write anything you want as long as it’s funny” he said; that show turned out to be ITV’s BAFTA nominated hit comedy Benidorm. Derren’s hobbies include drinking and karaoke, usually in that order. He splits his time equally between homes in London and Spain.
The show is produced for the stage by Michael Harrison and David Ian.
Benidorm Live premieres at Newcastle Theatre Royal on Fri 7 Sep 2018 and runs until Sat 15 Sep, playing evenings at 7.30pm, matinees on Thu 2pm and Sat 2.30pm. Tickets are from £16.50 and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge) or book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk