REVIEW: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
By Mark Owen | 2nd March 2023
Cheltenham audiences are being taken on a journey to India this week, joining an eclectic group of British retirees.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, based on the bestselling book which inspired one of this century's most treasured films, follows the group as they embark on a new life.
The luxury residence is far from the opulence they were promised, but as their lives begin to intertwine, they are charmed in unexpected and life-changing ways.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a joyous comedy about taking risks, finding love and embracing second chances, even in the most surprising of places.
A stellar cast includes Paul Nicholas, Belinda Lang, Tessa Peake-Jones and Graham Seed.
The amount of experience in the cast was tremendous. Belinda Lang was excellent as Madge, while Tessa Peeake-Jones, known to millions as Raquel in BBC 1's Only Fools and Horses, also came across really well.
Among the other stand-out performers was the young actor Nishad More as Sonny Kapoor. He had boundless energy but it wasn't overdone and there were some very funny lines.
I've seen the film a number of times - it's one of my favourites - and the characters are well known, but what was good about the stage show was they didn't try to copy the film, they put their own stamp on the story and its characters and that was all the better for it.
It was very cleverly done as a play and they used the stage really well. The end was also very good when everyone danced on stage.
On the slightly negative side, it wasn't a sell-out and there were a few gaps in the conversation when the characters seemed to be waiting for someone to say something, but other than that it was a great night.
All in all, it was another classy production at the Everyman Theatre.
The show runs at the Everyman until Saturday, March 4. For tickets, call the box office on 01242 572573 or go to www.everymantheatre.org.uk/shows/the-best-exotic-marigold-hotel/
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