Society: MoE Productions (no longer active)
Venue: Millfield Theatre
Credits: This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd. By Craig Christie and Andrew Patterson. Directed by Glyn Nicholas.
Performance Date: 08/09/2012
Eurobeat – Almost Eurovision
Paul Johnson | 22 Sep 2012 02:27am
Sardines theatre review – EUROBEAT
Eurobeat is a very funny interactive send up of the Eurovision song contest. Written by Australians, Andrew Patterson and Craig Christie, Eurobeat is a delightfully different type of musical. Yes, it exploits national stereotypes and is quite tacky in places, but it is light-hearted entertainment. Director David Bowman got the best from a very talented cast and is to be congratulated on an accomplished production.
The format of Eurobeat mirrors the real Eurovision contest, however it only has ten countries competing. There were some memorable and some not so memorable songs with a mish-mash of musical styles. The United Kingdom entry was excruciatingly bland, the Hungarian female group rather odd, the Russian boy band were fit and the male soloist Luke Clow representing Ireland had quite a few foggy moments thanks to an overactive dry ice machine. My favourite was the Bjork sound-alike dressed like an overgrown bird or chicken, who sang Love Ballad 3a – sub-titled Get Out – the performance was psychotic and mesmerising in equal measure and won the audience vote on the night I attended. The Millfield Theatre in Edmonton rang out to the sound of cheers and clackers, as audience participation was de rigeur for this show. Badges representing the ten competing countries had been given out on entering the auditorium. My badge had the Greek flag on, however I voted for Iceland. As well as the badges most of the audience had glowsticks and hand-shaped clackers that lit up when we waved them, and wave them we certainly did! The song contest is based in Sarajevo, and as the host country we had two celebrity comperes; Sergei played to perfection by Dave Short and Boyka, played by Paula Bland who also gave a wonderful performance. The dodgy English pronunciation and comic timing from these two was spot on. They interrupted each other on cue and delivered some wonderfully funny lines and barbed comments throughout. Dave Short’s ‘Arseland’ got a laugh every time, and Paula had so many costume changes that I lost count, but there was a reference to the Bucks Fizz skirt ripping moment when she ripped part of her long skirt off to reveal a shorter one underneath. The talented cast also consisted of; Carl Williams, David Coggin-Carr, Dawn Travell, Deborah Marsh, Dolly Donnahue, Elaine Dell, Graham Wall, Greg Hunt, Jamie Nichols, Jo Austin, Kate Russel, Luke Clow, Lynsey Cooper, Marion Lynch, Mikhail Novak, Nick Quye, Rachel Crisp, Rebecca Crodentz, Samantha Cowan, Simon Lattar and Sophie Short, who played a multiple of roles as singers and dancers. Overall it was a superb ensemble performance. There were some lovely cameos throughout this production – one that had me chuckling was when one of the Irish dancers hammed it up by waving and trying to steal the limelight. Well done to Ministry Of Expression for their high-energy production. When you are an accomplished singer it must be difficult to have to sing out of tune – and in a foreign language – however the ensemble had impressive vocals.
Act Two had a slower pace than Act One, as it focussed more on the results. There was good use of the giant screen as we were shown the contestants backstage awaiting votes. A few of the ensemble played presenters for the various nations, giving the results and some funny exchanges with the comperes. Musical Director Stuart wall did a good job with the music. Choreographers Debbie Petrou and Claire O’Mahoney must have relished choreographing this production. There were some wacky dance moves – in particular those from the non-singing German entry and plenty with high levels of energy. Staging was good and the set was effective and well lit. Live action was blended with a video link via the giant screen, which was pivotal in act two. Sound and lighting were well executed. Adrian Gee had the wonderful job of sourcing costumes for this show and they worked perfectly, from the feathered chicken/bird outfit and German contestants’ costumes to the Greek togas and Hungarian national costumes.
- : admin
- : 08/09/2012