Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Club Tropicana at the Sunderland Empire

When I got offered tickets to see Club Tropicana The Musical I jumped at the chance because not only is my mother a big fan of Joe McElderry but the show describes itself as "the 80s answer to Love Island" and that was more than enough to convince me.

Disclaimer: My tickets were gifted.

It was the first time I had been back to the Sunderland Empire in years as Sunderland is a bit out of the way for me but it’s well worth the trip for the bigger shows you won’t be able to see elsewhere in the area.

The venue is gorgeous and we were a little early so we got a drink in the bar area and it was so nice for a theatre to actually give you room to sit and stand without feeling like you're just getting in someone’s way.

But hey, enough about the bar and onto the show.

Club Tropicana starts with a wedding and a bride with cold feet. Lorraine (Karina Hind) leaves Olly (Cellan Chugg Jones) at the altar but decides to go on her honeymoon anyway with her two best gal pals.

And because it’s a comedy musical… Olly decides to do the exact same thing.

There’s so much else going on along the way, including a will they/won’t they romance between the hotel owners, played by ex Sugababe Amelle Berrabah in her theatre debut and Eastenders star Neil McDermott, Emily Tierney as snobby hotel inspector Christine and a cracking performance from Kate Robbins as Consuela, who kept appearing at just the right moment to have you in peels of laughter.

It goes without saying that Joe McElderry as holiday rep Garry was perfect casting, from his tongue-in-cheek one-liners to a certain moment during a rendition of Bucks Fizz’s Making Your Mind Up – I’m sure you can guess.

All the cast’s vocal performances were amazing and it was a really different experience hearing some of the best songs from the 80s performed in a musical theatre style.

It’s colourful, camp, laugh-out-loud funny and a little risqué – what more could you want?

It’s a great night out and there were people of all ages watching when I went to see it so it’s definitely one that the whole family can enjoy.

One thing I will say is if you’re tempted to crack out the neon then go for it, because if your audience if anything like the night I went to see it then you’ll be in very good company!

The show is at the Sunderland Empire for the rest of the week and if you’re quick you can still grab tickets here before it embarks on a full UK tour.


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