Jukebox musicals have clogged our stages for years now. Little seems to go into new musicals not based on films or pop songs anymore. Club Tropicana is not a musical about George Michael nor are any of his songs used. Considering the title here, the show feels like it has the intent to mislead over which songs are going to feature.
This is a musical which knows exactly what it is. It’s a guilty pleasure to an extent, the story is harkened with little nuance. The choice of songs including Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Take On Me are just some of the random assortment that feature here, crowbarred into the absurd honeymoon story. One of Blondie’s songs is used as an encore and plays no purpose in the show, just another 80s track to fling into the show.
The story relies on the songs too much and does little other than offer cheap gags, sordid humour and fart jokes. Whilst I’ll confess this was better than the musical version of Officer and a Gentleman, this was only by a margin, as I could scoff and find the odd joke amusing.
Joe McElderry is the club host who doesn’t sing as much as he should, more mincing around the stage was seen here. The other cast members have their moments, though these are not exactly deep roles by anyones imagination. Some of the impersonations from the Spanish cleaner are ridiculous highlights, proving this is a show for the Benidorm audience.
Some one liners fell flat, others appeared to have the audience on the floor. The cheap atheistic of the holiday resort is woven into the sets, which are neither grand nor appealing. The costumes have the time period down to a t, though who is here to look at clothes that could easily be in the back of our parents’ wardrobes.
Dubbed a feel good show, its more of a hangover with much regret.
Club Tropicana The Musical runs at the WMC till 17th August 2019.