Club Tropicana

Theatre Royal, Brighton

March 25 to March 30

Club Tropicana may be best known as the smash hit song for George Michael and Wham, but now a stage show has been made around the place where drinks are free. Jamie Walker spoke to star of the show, former X Factor winner Joe McElderry, about the show.

Hi Joe, tell us about Club Tropicana

It’s a great musical. It’s set at the Club Tropicana hotel.

I play Gary the entertainment manager, who is kind of pushing things under the carpet to make the hotel look a bit better.

We’re up for inspection so it’s my job, with my sidekick Consuela, to make the hotel look a bit better and busier than it actually is.

We also have a love story as well, between two people who leave each other at the alter and jet off to, what they think is, two separate hotels and it all goes a bit pear shaped.

Me and the hotel staff are left to pick up the pieces.

How has the tour been going so far?

You know what the reaction has been incredible.

The audiences have been amazing, there has been a standing ovation every night and people have been dancing and laughing their heads off.

It’s been a lot of fun and it’s a feelgood show to be a part of.

It looks like a party on stage.

Definitely, it’s a really good night out.

It’s light-hearted, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and it’s about coming out and dancing to some great Eighties music.

People naturally think of the Wham song when they hear the title Club Tropicana, what else does this show offer?

You’ve got the huge comedy angle to it, there’s big dance numbers.

Aside from the comedy and storyline, some of the dance numbers are spectacular to watch.

And I’m sure there’s a few singalongs as well with the amount of well-known songs in the show.

Yeah there are and we do a big mega-mix at the end, it turns into a bit of a concert vibe and the audience love that.

You’re coming to the Theatre Royal in Brighton, is it a city and venue you know well?

Yeah I do.

I’ve played there with my solo concerts and with Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat and it’s always a great audience and a great time.

I’m looking forward to coming back.

You’re probably best know for winning the X Factor in 2009. How did doing that prepare you for working stage shows?

It’s a very different discipline but in terms of the schedule and work that goes into it behind the scenes I did learn how to deal with that.

I’ve balanced between my solo material and musical theatre for about three years now so I’ve been able to switch between what needs to be done for each discipline.

Was musical theatre always an ambition for you?

I went to performing arts college and did a diploma in performing arts.

I left to do X Factor but I finished the diploma while I was on tour.

My original dream was to be a solo singer, and I feel lucky that I still get to do that, and this step into theatre has been a natural progression and lovely avenue to go down.

Is it nice to have that mix of careers?

It keeps it interesting for me because sometimes you can fall into a cycle of releasing an album then going on tour, but I’m a performer as well.

I’ve not played a comedy role before so it’s nice to explore that in this show.

It’s pushing the boundaries and it’s refreshing and exciting for me.

You’ve had a career as a solo singer, in theatre, and even had a go at opera in Popstar to Opera Star [in 2011]. Is it nice to have that range in your talents?

I’ve had a rule since day one to not be put in any type of box.

When you go into the industry, especially having the success I had in a short space of time, everybody tries to pinpoint where you should be and who you should deliver your material to.

I’ve always said that if something is fun and I enjoy it and the audience like it then I will give it a go.

So why should people pay a visit to Club Tropicana?

It’s a great night out, fun laughs, great music and comedy moments.

You’ll have the best night out.