IT has brought sunshine to TV screens for over a decade, and now hit comedy Benidorm is lighting up the stage.

Benidorm Live features much-loved faces - smooth-talking waiter Mateo (Jake Canuso), snooty hotel manager Joyce Temple-Savage (Sherrie Hewson), innuendo queen Jacqueline (Janine Duvitski), colourful crimper Kenneth (Tony Maudsley), awkward errand boy Liam (Adam Gillen), feisty rep Sam (Shelley Longworth) and singer Asa Elliott as the Neptune’s resident ‘turn’.

And, in a nod to the British sitcom tradition, the actors each get a cheer from audiences when they appear on stage. “It’s lovely. There’s such warmth to this show, it’s great to have that audience feedback,” says Shelley Longworth. “Derren Litten, who wrote Benidorm, always wanted to hear laughter, like when sitcoms were filmed in front of a studio audience - but unless he hung around people’s gardens, listening at windows at 9pm on Wednesdays he wasn’t going to get that! Writing a stage show, he’s created a new relationship with the audience.”

Shelley first appeared in ITV’s Benidorm in 2011, playing Sam Wood, a loud-mouthed guest rocking up at the Solana with her maneater pal. Sprawled on sun-loungers around the pool, they glugged cocktails, clashed with Solana regulars and tried to catch Mateo’s eye. After a break, Shelley later returned, with Sam ending up working at the Solana. “She’s settled down a bit. We see a softer side to her,” says Shelley.

Set in a hotel complex, Benidorm was first screened in 2007 and was a hit with viewers. It won two National Television awards and was Bafta-nominated. The 10th series was on earlier this year, but ITV says there won’t be any more.

“This play is a swan song - a thank you to the fans, and a chance for them to say goodbye,” says Shelley. “When we found out the show wasn’t going again it was a bitter pill, but doing this makes it less bitter. It’s a lovely ensemble piece, people of all ages can watch it together. It’s a bit of sunshine. My mum saw it last night and said it was a tonic.”

Shelley’s TV credits include Brian Pern and Bad Girls and she’s appeared in films such as Suffragette and Burke & Hare. She has also voiced characters in children’s TV show Fimbles.

In Benidorm Live she showcases an impressive singing voice in a lively karaoke scene at the Neptune nightclub. “It’s a proper ballad. Apart from a few cartoons, I haven’t done any singing since the school choir!” she smiles. “I’ve got into it now though. The show works so well on stage. The set is brilliant; somehow you get the whole hotel complex on stage in this clever design. I’ve worked in character-based comedy with people like Miranda Hart, but most of my work’s been in TV. This is a big theatrical tour, and people like Sherrie Hewson and Tony Maudsley set the bar high. It’s very technical, but there’s great chemistry because we’ve all worked so closely before.”

* Benidorm Live is at the Alhambra, October 29 to November 3, 2018. Call (01274) 432000.