Tag Archives: Joe McElderry

Club Tropicana the Musical

New Wimbledon Theatre & UK Tour

Club Tropicana the Musical

New Wimbledon Theatre & UK Tour

Reviewed – 23rd April 2019



“Like the overblown cocktails that “Club Tropicana” serves up, it is all show and little substance”


As the opening bars of ABC’s ‘The Look of Love’ open the show, we get a taste of what it must have been like, back when the announcement to remind us to switch off our mobile phones was aimed at the lucky minority. “Club Tropicana”, a show that joins a growing brand of jukebox musicals that celebrate a particular phase of our cultural history, wastes no time in letting us know we are on a journey back to the eighties.

Despite being a time of massive change: the decade of Conservatism, Cold War and computers; Chernobyl and the Challenger disaster; the rise of AIDS and the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is often argued in retrospect that nothing really defines the 1980s. Similarly, despite a maelstrom of MTV hits shoehorned into it, it can be argued that there is little that defines this show. Both are sweeping criticisms, however, and consequently unfair. This musical is, in essence, simply a nod to the silliness of the decade and its aim is purely for the audience to have fun – and, indeed, make fun of the cheesiness of it all.

But even if you approach it with low expectations, Michael Gyngell’s book struggles to reach even those. The plot is as gossamer thin as the condom jokes and other outdated innuendos that desperately try to hold the threadbare dialogue together. I’m not sure it even tries to succeed in this, such is the laziness of the writing that obviously decides to rely purely on the iconic 80s soundtrack to hold the narrative together. Lorraine (Karina Hind) jilts Olly (Cellen Chugg Jones) on their wedding day. Not wanting to waste a honeynoom, she heads off to Sunny Spain with her two best buddies instead. Meanwhile Olly drowns his sorrows by jetting off with his two best men. To the same hotel as Lorraine, of course.

The experience is like turning up at a half-built resort, where the shell of a swimming pool is as shallow as the characters that swan around it searching for a personality. But the staff are doing their best. And it has to be said that, while there is little investment in story or characterisation, the cast, without exception, give it everything they have. The ensemble is a show unto themselves as they faultlessly execute Nick Winston’s top-notch choreography.

There are some fine voices on show particularly Amelle Berrabah and Neil McDermott as the hotel receptionists, blind to their mutual yearning but not to the onstage chemistry these two actors have. But the stand out is actor, singer, impressionist Kate Robbins as Consuela the cleaner. A dynamic presence, Robbins peppers the scenes with her expert comedic timing and mimicry. A surreal moment when she sings “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” in Spanish, dressed as Adam Ant is almost worth the ticket price alone!

Without a doubt, this show is a crowd pleaser. But it is far too aware of that fact and therefore, unforgivably, it takes for granted its appeal. Like the overblown cocktails that “Club Tropicana” serves up, it is all show and little substance.


Reviewed by Jonathan Evans


Club Tropicana

Club Tropicana the Musical

New Wimbledon Theatre until 27th April then UK Tour continues


Last ten shows covered by this reviewer:
Rip It Up – The 60s | ★★★ | Garrick Theatre | February 2019
The Grand Expedition | ★★★★★ | Secret Location | February 2019
Carl’s Story | ★★★★ | Tabard Theatre | March 2019
Fiddler on the Roof | ★★★★★ | Playhouse Theatre | March 2019
Maggie May     | ★★★★ | Finborough Theatre | March 2019
Pain(t) | ★★★★ | Time and Leisure Studio | March 2019
The Life I Lead | ★★★ | Park Theatre | March 2019
The Project | ★★★ | White Bear Theatre | March 2019
The Rubenstein Kiss | ★★★★★ | Southwark Playhouse | March 2019
The Talented Mr Ripley | ★★★★ | The Vaults | March 2019

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Joe McElderry – Joseph








Joe McElderry will return home this Christmas in his celebrated and critically acclaimed role in the sparkling family musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat. The musical will run at Newcastle’s prestigious Metro Radio Arena for a strictly limited Christmas season from 19 – 31 December 2017.

This special Christmas homecoming will complete Joe’s hugely successful year touring the UK playing the title-role – his first major theatrical appearance which has been met with Five Star reviews and standing ovations up and down the country. It also follows the release of his new recording of the ‘Joseph’ soundtrack which reached the top of the Amazon Musical Soundtrack Charts; his top 5 entry in the official charts with his new hit single Gloria, released last month; as well as the announcement of his highly anticipated fifth album Saturday Night at the Movies and supporting concert The Gloria Tour this summer.

Joe said:

“I am so excited to be bringing this wonderful show back home for Christmas! I have had an amazing year touring with Joseph so far and we have had fantastic audiences, so to bring it back to the north east in Newcastle over Christmas is very special and is really the icing on the cake to an already fantastic year! I cannot wait to see everyone at the shows over the festive period.”


Newcastle Christmas Performance Schedule:



Tues 19 Dec: 7.30pm

Wed 20 – Fri 22 Dec: 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Sat 23 Dec: 2.00pm, 5.00pm & 8.00pm

Sun 24 Dec: 1.00pm & 4.00pm

Tues 26 – Fri 29 Dec: 2.30pm & 7.00pm

Sat 30 Dec: 2.00pm, 5.00pm& 8.00pm

Sun 31 Dec: 1.00pm & 4.00pm


Having garnered sensational reviews and standing ovations at every performance since its inception over 36 years ago, Bill Kenwright’s ‘amazing’, ‘superb’, ‘wonderful’ and ‘brilliant’ production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s family musical has now sold an estimated 20 million tickets.
This vibrant and exciting retelling of the biblical story about Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours sings out to young and old alike with a score which is crammed wall to wall with hits, including Jacob and Sons, Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do.
The UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat has also just extended into the Autumn and will open at the Southend Cliffs Pavilion on Tuesday 5th September before visiting Woking, Dunfermline, Lowestoft, Liverpool, Richmond, Manchester, Stoke, Hull and Swansea.
Earlier this year the Number 1 and Platinum selling artist delighted fans by confirming that he had been back in the studio recording his eagerly anticipated fifth studio album Saturday Night at the Movies. The album includes iconic hits from film and theatre such as I’m into Something Good, Love is All Around, Daydream Believer as well as the hit single Gloria and will be released later this year. To celebrate the release of his album Joe will embark on a nationwide live tour from 14th July, named THE GLORIA TOUR.
Joe, who hails from South Shields, Tyne and Wear, was just 18 when he won the sixth series of ‘The X Factor’, having been mentored by Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole. He soared to number one on the UK Singles Charts with his rendition of Miley Cyrus’s The Climb and his debut album Wide Awake went straight in at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart. He has since gone on to have two more Top 10 albums.

Tour Details

Bill Kenwright by special arrangement with the Really Useful Group presents



Lyrics by TIM RICE



25 – 29 Apr – NOTTINGHAM Theatre Royal – 0115 989 5555 – trch.co.uk

2 – 6 May – BRISTOL Hippodrome – 0844 871 3012 – atgtickets.com/bristol

9 – 13 May – CARDIFF Wales Millennium Centre – 029 2063 6464 – wmc.org.uk

16 – 20 May – TRURO Hall for Cornwall – 01507 613100 hallforcornwall.co.uk

23 – 27 May – STOCKPORT Plaza Theatre – 0161 480 3818 – stockportplaza.co.uk

30 May – 3 Jun – LONDONDERRY Millennium Forum – 028 7126 4455 – millenniumforum.co.uk

6 – 10 Jun – BELFAST Grand Opera House – 028 9024 1919 – goh.co.uk

13 – 17 Jun – CHELTENHAM Everyman Theatre – 01242 572573 – everymantheatre.org.uk

5 – 9 Sept – SOUTHEND Cliffs Pavilion – 01702 351135 – southendtheatres.org.uk

12 – 16 Sept – WOKING New Victoria – 0844 871 7645 – atgtickets.com/new-victoria-theatre

19 – 23 Sept – DUNFERMLINE Alhambra Theatre – 01383 740384 – alhambradunfermline.com

26 – 30 Sept – LOWESTOFT Marina Theatre – 01502 533200 – marinatheatre.co.uk

3 – 7 Oct – LIVERPOOL Empire Theatre – 0844 871 3017 – atgtickets.com/liverpool-empire

10 – 14 Oct – RICHMOND Theatre – 0844 871 7651 – atgtickets.com/richmond-theatre

17 – 21 Oct – MACHESTER Palace Theatre – 0844 871 3019 – atgtickets.com/palace-theatre-manchester

24 – 28 Oct – STOKE Regent Theatre – 0844 871 7649 – atgtickets.com/regent-theatre

31 Oct – 4 Nov – HULL New Theatre – 01482 300 306 – hulltheatres.co.uk

14 – 18 Nov – SWANSEA Grand Theatre – 01792 475715 – swansea.gov.uk/swanseagrandtheatre

19 – 31 Dec – NEWCASTLE Metro Radio Arena – 0844 493 6666 – metroradioarena.co.uk


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