There’s been a decade of fun in the sun in popular TV comedy Benidorm – and now it’s on stage in Sheffield.
A whole new set of Alicante escapades are in store for the holidaymakers at the Solana in Benidorm Live this week.
Join favourite characters Mateo (Jake Canuso), Jacqueline (Janine Duvitski), Liam (Adam Gillen), Joyce Template-Savage (Sherrie Hewson), Sam (Shelley Longworth), Kenneth (Tony Maudsley) and the Neptune’s very own Asa Elliot for the stage debut of this much-loved TV show.
The Lyceum’s favourite pantomime Dame, Damian Williams, also appears as Derek.
Doncaster-born Shelley Longworth said the cast have been having a great time on tour.
“We’ve done four months on the road and it’s been really exciting. The show is so much fun, it’s great we’re still up for doing it.
“It’s full of songs and dancing and great fun and jokes.
“There are six of us in it from the TV show and the rest of the company are lovely. We’ve had such great feedback from audiences wherever we’ve gone.”
Shelley said audiences are really pulled into the storylines, revolving around a threat to the future of the hair salon: “People have been cheering and it’s got a bit of a panto feel.
“So if anybody says something bad about the hair salon, they boo. When a nice thing happens to me, it’s ‘aah’. People really invest into the characters and what they are up to.”
Shelley is not just getting the laughs: “I have to sing a lovely song, a ballad. I also stand up and talk to the audience about how long I’ve been in Benidorm. You can hear a pin drop.
“I’ve never sung live on stage before. The lyrics are ‘I’ll always remember you and there you’ll be’. It’s a thank you to the fans for 10 years.”
Shelley also sings Viva Espana in the famous Neptune bar in the show.
The comedy in the stage show is far more quick-fire then in the TV series, said Shelley. “There are some funny, funny characters,” she added. “We’ve got gay Derek, played by Damian Williams.
“He took time off for the panto and Derren (show creator Derren Litten) stepped into those shows. He said, ‘I got into acting before writing, so it’s something fun for me’. He was fantastic.”
Damian was able to fit straight back into the role, immediately after hanging up his Peter Pan Dame costumes for the season.
Shelley is looking forward to returning to her roots this week. She was born in Doncaster and then lived in Scunthorpe until she was five, where her dad was a lecturer in hotels and hospitality. The family then moved to Hong Kong when her dad worked there.
She has strong links to the area. Two of her uncles, Mark and Andrew, have been involved in the pub trade locally and her mum lives near Hartwell. “It’ll be good because lots of people are coming to the Sheffield show and lots are coming to Leeds.”
Shelley said working on Benidorm was ideal for a mum of young children. The cast live in the resort for months at a time. “When I did the filming in Spain, we all went. The children had a bit of schooling and nursery out there.”
However, the family have stayed at home this time. Shelley joked: “This tour has been great because I’ve caught up on six years of sleep deprivation!”
Benidorm Live is at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield this week until Saturday, January 26. Book online at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk