Published: 08:00, 12 February 2019
| Updated: 10:16, 05 April 2019
It’s time to go all inclusive with sun-loving Brits as the stage version of the hit TV sitcom Benidorm gets set to book in to two theatres in the county.
Derren Litten’s ITV comedy has been hooking viewers by their millions with its mix of comedy and familiar faces enjoying the life of Brits abroad at The Solana hotel in the heart of Benidorm.
The show has received two National Television Awards, a TV Quick Award and nominations at the British Comedy Awards and BAFTAs and stars Sherrie Hewson, Tony Maudsley, Jake Canuso and Janine Duvitski.
Now a stage version of the show, produced for the stage by Michael Harrison and David Ian, has been touring the nation, with last year’s dates proving so popular, it was extended into this year, with dates added at both the Orchard Theatre in Dartford and the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury.
Writer Derren said: “I’ve loved 10 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 nine o’clock on cold winter evenings.”
He added: “I am blown away by the reaction to the Benidorm Live tour and so thrilled that we will be visiting more cities so even more people can enjoy the madness I’ve prepared. This is like an exclusive, extended live action episode of Benidorm you can only see if you come to the theatre. It’s also the nearest you’ll get to going on holiday with the cast!”
He worked as a professional magician before winning a three-year place at the prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama where he met fellow student Catherine Tate. Ten years later, she asked him to write for her sketch show, the Catherine Tate Show and after two series and a Christmas special, was commissioned by producer Geoffrey Perkins, to ‘just write anything you want as long as it’s funny.’
That show became the hit comedy Benidorm.
Jake Canuso (Mateo) is best known for his role in The Dark Knight Rises, while Sherrie Hewson, who plays Joyce Temple-Savage, the long-suffering manager of the Solana Hotel, started her career in the early 70s, working with the Carry On team, appearing in Russ Abbot’s Madhouse in the 80s and in 1993, joining the cast of Coronation Street as accident-prone supermarket assistant, Maureen Webster.
Also starring is Janine Duvitski as Jacqueline, Shelley Longworth as Sam and Tony Maudsley as Kenneth, whose career started when he landed a role in the film, A Life for a Life, in 1998, playing the part of Stefan Kiszko, and Neptune’s own Asa Elliott.
Benidorm Live is at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford until Saturday, February 16. To book tickets visit orchardtheatre.co.uk or call 01322 220000.
The show will also be at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, from Monday, April 15 to Saturday, April 20. To book tickets, go to marlowetheatre.com or call the box office on 01227 787787.