REVIEW: Benidorm Live at Leeds Grand Theatre


Fans of Derren Litten’s award winning ITV comedy can rejoice as Benidorm Live lands at Leeds Grand Theatre for a 5-night stay.

Full of bold characters and storylines that make light of Benidorm’s long-standing reputation as the ultimate ‘Brits Abroad’ destination, the sitcom lends itself perfectly for a screen-to-stage transition.

Familiar Faces

The audience’s strong affinity to the original cast members was obvious even before the opening curtain, when Leslie (Tim Healy) revealed himself as a fellow theatregoer supporting his co-stars and was met with an eruption of cheers. Similar enthusiasm was shown when other favourites, including Mateo (Jake Canuso) and Jacqueline (Janine Duvitski) took to the stage.

Bringing a touch of sunshine to Leeds, the beloved TV set was reimagined by Mark Walters to feature the one and only Solana Hotel, complete with reception and pool area, the Blow ‘n’ Go salon and the indistinguishable boat-shaped Neptune’s Bar.

Benidorm Live - Kenneth and liam
Image by Paul Coltas

Litten’s stage adaptation carries on from the series finale which sees the Solana at risk of being taken over by Belroy Hotels. In typical sitcom fashion, the eclectic staff and hotel regulars club together to save the day by impressing the hotel ‘inspectors,’ naturally making a few hilarious blunders along the way.

Unlike the beloved TV show, which tends to only showcase karaoke or the familiar vocals of Asa Elliott within the constraints of Neptune’s Bar, the production incorporated fancy footwork routines and singalong anthems throughout, all of which really came together in a show within the show towards the end.

Energy radiated from the Benidorm Live cast from start to finish. It was clear to see they were having as much fun as the audience, especially during an unscripted wardrobe malfunction involving Kenneth and newcomer Gay Derek. Other highlights include Jacqueline’s double entendres and inappropriate advances after misinterpreting some signals, as well as hunk Mateo trying his luck while sporting a pair of speedos.

7. BENIDORM LIVE. Janine Duvitski 'Jacqueline'. Photo Paul Coltas
Image by Paul Coltas

Driven by innuendos, one liners and sarcasm, the brash stage adaptation was unapologetically Benidorm. It is the perfect nostalgia trip for those needing to fill the void left by the sitcom’s cancellation in July last year.

RATING: 7/10

Benidorm Live is running from Monday 18 to Saturday 23 March 2019 at Leeds Grand Theatre. See website for details on how to book.

4 Replies to “REVIEW: Benidorm Live at Leeds Grand Theatre”

  1. I’ve only seen a couple of the TV shows, but it was funny, so I bet it’s brilliant live. It’s awesome to know they had the support of original cast members, as well as a couple on stage! They must have really enjoyed working on it to want to carry on 🙂

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