PULL on your hot pants and pour yourself a piña colada – Oxford’s New Theatre is taking you to a place where the drinks are free and there’s enough fun and sunshine for everyone.

Well, the drinks aren’t really free and sunshine isn’t guaranteed, but it’s definitely fun.

Brash and brilliantly silly, Club Tropicana burst onto the stage this week, starring X Factor winner Joe McElderry and former Sugababe Amelle Berrabah.

McElderry bounded before the audience at the start like a Butlins redcoat (just a lot more pink), and spurred us out of our seats to learn some cheesy dance moves.

We hesitantly complied and half-heartedly attempted to find some rhythm, encouraged by his infectious energy, before the curtain rose and the 80s soundtrack began.

The musical follows a woman who jilted her fiancé at the alter, and they end up bumping into each other at the same hotel on their would-be honeymoon, with their respective mates in tow.

What follows is two hours of superbly tacky fun, with a generous helping of Hawaiian shirts and more gyrating hips than a Shakira music video.


Wide-eyed wonder and Gallic flare make adorable Amèlie a delight

As if the title and promo posters were not enough of a hint, this is not high-brow entertainment, nor does it try to be.

Quite the opposite: the show is charged with slapstick comedy, over-the-top facial expressions and sexual innuendo.

Consuela, a caricature of a cleaner, stole the show with her rude antics and uncanny impersonations - her act lay somewhere between Julie Walters in Dinner Ladies and actual Consuela the cleaner from Family Guy.

Cast members were not afraid to make fools of themselves and frequently did - watch out for the hilariously unexpected scene involving a Lion King song.

Clearly if you’re not a fan of 80s music then this probably isn’t one for you, but as someone partial to a throwback party playlist, I had a ball.

Costumes ranged from Village People fancy dress to Dirty Dancing-esque white trousers and crop tops, and special mention must go to Consuela’s dazzling pink glitter one-piece for her Dolly Parton impersonation.

Of course there was also huge crimped hair and fluorescent accessories, and not just on stage - I saw several groups in the audience dressed in garish tutus and netted gloves.


Meet the pub chef putting tiny Oxfordshire village on the map

Though the hotel in which the show is set is cheap and cheerful, the production itself was of much higher quality - the singing and choreography were fantastic, and huge ballads were belted out with ease.

There were a few pitchy notes in certain songs, particularly Jump, but perfection is apparently not what Club Tropicana strives for.

Producer Mark Goucher writes in the programme: “We are not trying to win any prizes but to give you a good night out.

“I hope you will be humming those tunes and remembering a time that wasn’t half bad.”

If that was the aim, he can consider Club Tropicana a success in my case – I was singing Take on Me and Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax the entire journey home.

The production is at the New Theatre until Saturday, with tickets priced at £13, and it tours the country until mid August.