Great review of Eurobeat!

“Eurovision will never be the same again!”

“Audiences lucky enough to have seen The Cast’s recent performances of the fun musical Eurobeat will no doubt have recognized many of the things we love to hate about that annual television spectacular, the Eurovision Song Contest, in this clever parody. For it was all there. From the overenthusiastic, naff and sometimes just weird national entries, through to the tension of the final votes being received on that monster scoreboard, hosted in style by the proud new state of Bosnia-Herzegovina.This stage show has been a hit in London for some years and The Cast put together an excellent version for local audiences at the Duchess Theatre in Long Eaton from Feb 27th. From the belting opening number from Rachael Brown representing Italy to the closing entry featuring four strangely familiar looking Swedes (Emily Corner, Jouni Soininen, Laura Young and Gina Coventry) the audience were kept chuckling as they recognised many obvious national stereotypes. Between each number the glittering hosts Boyka and Sergei were on hand to perk up proceedings with their Bosnian wit. Alex Tavener portraying the frostybut funny Boyka and Chris Collington marvellously playing Sergei as somewhere between Eric Morecambe and Benny Hill made such a charming pair that this make-believe could so easily be the real thing.

And such songs, too – Emily Harris’s mad Icelandic love ballad, Craig Arme’s Irish genius as every technical aspect went wrong, the stunning mediocrity of Rob Holsman and Cheryl Camm’s UK entry, the enigmatic Germans dressed in morph suits…so much to enjoy. We had a brilliantly incomprehensible Hungarian folk song from Claire Farrand-Preston, Mina Machin and Carrie-Anne Corner, hilariously camp antics from those polish backing singers, topped off with sheer gusto from the most unlikely Russian boy-band ever with David Artiss, John Carey Jouni Soininen and John Maddison. There was even Eurovision’s most favourite device given an outing in Gina’s Greek love story as she pulled off the best “reveal” since Bucks Fizz – “I expect audiences everywhere are just waiting for the clothings to start to fly,” mused Sergei in awe, before having his own garments ripped off by the cheeky Boyka.

A clear highlight of this show is the amount of audience participation. Everyone was given an adopted nation to cheer for with flags and clackers and the audience truly decide the winners each night with a mobile phone vote at the interval, bringing a palpable tension to the second half as the votes come in. It meant there could be a different winner each night!

“This has made it quite a technically difficult show to put on” explained the director Rob Corner afterwards, “but as we see the combination of fun and excitement I hope it’s clear why we wanted to do this so much.”

On the night I went Hungary won – though I was laughing so hard at Boyka and Sergei’s brilliant exposition of the unpredictability of receiving live votes I almost missed it – and as the three ladies so proudly took the stage to perform again you could only hope that the real winners would look this happy this coming May. Hooray for Eurovision!”

The Cast will return to the Duchess Theatre next spring with Bad Girls – The Musical.Watch this space for details!