Club Tropicana review: The show ended as it had started, with everyone in the house on their feet and clapping along to the beat
PUBLISHED: 10:21 26 February 2019 | UPDATED: 18:10 26 February 2019
Big hair? Big phones? Big 1980s hits? All present and correct on this jaunt back in time to when Frankie ruled the world and lycra shorts weren't just for cyclists.
Club Tropicana is just plain fun. And with sundry references to Opal Fruits, Woolworths, Bullseye and much more, the nostalgia trip isn’t just limited to the costumes and music.
Not that the music’s bad. It’s very good – with former X Factor star Joe McElderry leading a cast of performers who looked to be enjoying every minute, backed up by a tidy live band. I defy anyone to watch them and not break into a smile.
The night opens with Joe’s flamboyant holiday host Garry getting everyone on their feet and clapping along to Depeche Mode, and then the story gets going. A young bride has second thoughts on the big day, and rings up her groom-to-be on his housebrick of a mobile phone to call the whole thing off.
She and her two best friends jet off to the eponymous Club Tropicana resort in Spain to enjoy what should have been the honeymoon, and the groom’s mates try to get him over the break-up by flying him out for a holiday as well – in the same hotel, of course. Hilarity ensues.
The rest of the show takes place almost entirely within the hotel, with two parallel love stories playing out against a backdrop of 80s pop, physical comedy and effective panto-style humour.
Kate Robbins, as the Spanish maid Consuela, won several of the night’s biggest laughs and is arguably the highlight of the production – with a clutch of musical turns, a whole wardrobe of costumes and the show’s main running gag.
Highlights of the musical score, which weaves a host of 80s standards together to carry the story along, include a lusty rendition of The Lion Sleeps Tonight – not strictly speaking an 80s song, but it fits – and an interesting reinterpretation of Take On Me as a duet, which works well.
The show ended as it had started, with everyone in the house on their feet and clapping along to the beat.
Club Tropicana will run at Norwich Theatre Royal until March 2
Tickets are available for £10 - £39.50 advance from Norwich Theatre Royal’s website