FOR a decade now, we’ve followed the misadventures of the hapless holiday-makers and hopeless staff of Alicante’s Solana Hotel.
Next year, fans of the ITV comedy Benidorm will be able to get up close and personal with some of their favourite characters as they soak up the laughs when the first ever stage version of the smash hit series gets its Scottish premiere at The Playhouse.
Announcing the tour, which comes to Edinburgh next September, the show’s creator Derren Litten says, “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 I have always been secretly frustrated that I couldn’t hear the audience’s laughter.”
He adds, “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.”
The stage show of the top-rated drama which mixes sun, sex, sea, tears and laughter will find six of the series’ best-loved characters starring in an all new Alicante escapade written by Litten.
Returning to their roles will be Jake Canuso, Janine Duvitski, Adam Gillen, Sherrie Hewson, Shelley Longworth and Tony Maudsley as lothario waiter Mateo, aging swinger Jacqueline, hairdresser Liam, hotel manager Joyce Temple-Savage, crafty holiday rep Sam and Kenneth of Blow ‘n’ Go.
The show, which goes on sale next Monday, will run from 17-22 September 2018 and is produced for the stage by Michael Harrison, who also produces the King’s pantomime. Harrison, who started his theatrical career in the Capital, studying to be an actor at Queen Margaret University, says, “I’m delighted to be bringing some Alicante sun to Edinburgh next year with the Scottish premiere of Benidorm on its first ever stage outing.
“The television series is so hugely popular I know Edinburgh audiences will enjoy seeing the madcap magic of the Solana recreated live on stage in a brand new story.
“Having previously brought numerous productions to the city, as well as producing the annual King’s pantomime for the last five years, I’ve learnt how much Edinburgh audiences love to laugh, so book now for this hilarious adventure.”
Benidorm was first aired in 2007 when Litten made the switch from being in front of the camera to behind it.
After 10 years of working as an actor, he was given a script commission by legendary comedy producer Geoffrey Perkins.
He recalls the remit was simple, Perkins told him, ‘Just write anything you want as long as it’s funny.’
Benidorm was born and went on to win two National Television Awards. Season 10 is due to broadcast early 2018.
Litten adds, “I love Edinburgh and I can’t wait for us to get to The Playhouse.
“I remember being at the Fringe Festival a few years ago with a couple of Benidorm cast members who were mobbed everywhere they went.
“If that reaction is anything to go by Benidorm Live is going to go down a treat.”