The eighties are now rightly celebrated for the countless memorable pop hits that they left the world to enjoy, and these songs are just what the new touring production Club Tropicana – The Musical showcases to fine effect.
From A-ha’s Take On Me to Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, from Bucks Fizz’s Making Your Mind Up to ABC’s The Look of Love, this is a show rammed with tunes that the audience will want to clap along to.
The action begins with the wedding of Lorraine (Karina Hind) and Olly (Cellen Chugg Jones), which ends up falling through. Nursing their broken hearts, each one of the loveless pair is picked up by two friends and taken abroad for some sunshine … and they all end up at the very hotel where Lorraine and Olly had planned to spend their honeymoon.
There is the mysterious posh lady who is not quite what she seems to be, there is a cake that ends up in someone’s face, a young woman who seems unable to lift herself off the floor of the elevator after one too many drinks, and there is the pool to be enjoyed. There is hit after hit after hit and even a dramatic knife-throwing performance … or at least that’s what it appears to be at first.
Joe McElderry performs well as Garry, the hotel entertainments manager, his fine singing voice showing how he became an X-Factor winner and helping him to command the stage with ease. He also does a good comic turn and builds up a great rapport with the audience.
Also popular is Kate Robbins as the hotel cleaning lady, her performance – ranging from grumpy mutterings in broken English through to reminders of the time that she voiced characters in the television show Spitting Image – having the crowd in stitches.
Impressive too is the former Sugababe Amelle Berrabah as the hotel’s Serena, who is embattled on both the personal and the professional fronts.
In fact, all the acting and singing is great, and the dancing is equally impressive.
With almost every tune an upbeat one, with plenty of laughs and a few elements of pantomime thrown in, this is a feel-good show that audiences can’t fail to enjoy.
– Club Tropicana began its tour in January and came to the Theatre Royal, Norwich, from 25 February to 2 March. It continues touring England, Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, with the final performance scheduled for Cardiff on 17 August.
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