Eurobeat: Now a West End hit!

by Russell Davies 159 views

Eurobeat – Winning Is Everything has enjoyed rave reviews in the UK media since the show's opening night on London's West End this week . There was lavish praise for the performances of Les Dennis and Mel Giedroyc in the show which is a interactive musical comedy bases on the Eurovision Song Contest. Eurobeat is currently appearing in the Novello Theatre until 15th November 2008. The show proved a popular hit at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has since enjoyed a successful tour of the UK over the last six months.

Funnier than the real thing was the consensus of most critics, hilariously camp and exuberantly enjoyable show. Here are extract of the show's reviews which appeared in the UK national press this week:

Charles Spencer in the DailyTelegraphYou might plausibly argue that to parody the Eurovision Song Contest is pointless, since the real thing does the job so well itself, but somehow Eurobeat works. The needling relationship between the two presenters, the brilliantly accurate pastiche of various naff pop idioms, and the audience participation, in which you vote for your favourite song via text message, prove an almost continuous pleasure … the choreography by Natalie K Marsland and Andrew Hallsworth combines the naff and the filthily suggestive to hilariously camp effect. It doesn't all work. The British entry is dismayingly anodyne (but then so has the real thing been for years too numerous to recall). The send-up of Abba proves a damp squib, and there is nothing here quite as bizarre as those recent real-life winners Lordi, the monster-masked heavy metallers from Finland. But for most of its length, hits its target bang on, and the production proves the most exuberantly enjoyable musical to have opened in the West End since Hairspray.

Simon Edge in the Daily ExpressThe Eurovision Song Contest has not been the same since the admission of previously unheard of countries with more goats than people, bent on giving nul points to the nogoodnik Western nations that devised the competition in the first place. Fortunately salvation is at hand with a stage show that manages to unite smartness and wit with the cheesy self-parody of Eurovision, proving you can be inventive and crowd-pleasing in one spangled leg-kick … It could be a disaster-in-Spandex, but Christie's knowing script and Glynn Nicholas’s exuberant direction send up and embrace the real event in equal measure … Mel Giedroyc and Les Dennis are perfectly pitched as the Bosnian presenting duo … But the meat of the show is the songs themselves … With a hugely energetic company throwing themselves into numbers that – however ridiculous – are often better than the genuine efforts they are satirising, it’s a joyous festival of innuendo, sight gags and musical mickey-taking.

Alice Jones in the IndependentThere are not many – any? – West End shows where you are greeted at the door by ushers in glittery cowboy hats who press badges and flags into your hands … But then Eurobeat isn't strictly a show – it's a competition. … The whole shebang is hosted by competitive limelight-seekers Sergei (Les Dennis) and Boyka (Mel Giedroyc). Dennis, in a Wogan-esque toupee and shiny suit, delivers the bizarre country fact-files in a convincingly nonplussed manner, giving proceedings just the right amount of seediness and innuendo. But it is Giedroyc as Boyka, the former Olympic pole-vaulting champion, who steals the show with a procession of hideous frocks … Craig Christie's and Andrew Patterson's songs are pitch-perfect in their ear-splitting Eurovision penchant for mixing unlikely musical styles … Some of the routines are too silly and a good few of the jokes fall flat. And, just like the real thing, the voting goes on a bit too long (unlike the real thing, though, it's entirely unpredictable). But the energy levels rarely dip and I can't remember laughing this much (or ever making quite so much noise) in a theatre.

Sam Marlowe in The Times Described by Terry Wogan, who makes a guest appearance on video, as a 'glorious homage' to the real song contest, Eurobeat is both a kitsch and canny send-up and a tack-encrusted love letter to the varied and sometimes sick-making musical smorgasbord … The current West End version is overamplified and about as culturally significant as Dustin the Turkey, but it’s also well-honed, sharp-eyed and slickly performed … The location is Sarajevo and our perma-grinning, glittery and alarmingly bewigged hosts are Boyka and Sergei. The multilingual Boyka has an unnerving habit of bursting into shrill laughter and flapping her jaw like a ventriloquist’s dummy. As Sergei, Dennis has peculiarly dead eyes, which may or may not be part of his shtick. Anyway, they make a compellingly bizarre pair, genially supplying interact links scattered with malapropisms and innuendo. The contestants themselves, though, are the real treat … This show is entirely pointless, but its OTT energy and shameless silliness are oddly seductive. Forget high culture; this is high camp, and in its own unpretentious way it’s a winner.

Details on how to purchase tickets for Eurobeat – Winning Is Everything, is available in the show's official website: