EUGENIUS! – West End

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Emma ClarendonLeave a Comment

Following a huge hiccup with regards to ticket collection and consequently a late running show, this world premiere concert of the new musical - in a one-off performance at the West End's London Palladium on 29 June 2016 - was delightful, bizarre and completely unique.  Eugene is a comic book geek and alongside his friend Janey (who is secretly in love with him), creates a comic story that ends up taking him all the way to Hollywood and ending up with him fighting his own very real intergalactic battle! This is the basic plot but there are clearly a variety of sub plots also merged in, which tends to make the overall story confusing in places, leaving the audience at sea at times. But despite this, there is still plenty to enjoy. With very few costumes and props, as well as a cast using their scripts, there is a lot of imagination required from the audience – but we were still left with a great understanding of the characters, thanks to the wonderful all star cast involved. Amy Lennox is rapidly becoming a favourite actress of mine in the West End, thanks to her bubbly performance in Kinky Boots and equally light and hilarious performance as Janey – instantly likeable. Louis Maskell has the right air of geekiness about him to give Eugene a bit of charisma in what could have been a weak role, Warwick Davis as Evil Lord Hector delighted audiences while Samuel Holmes impresses as the contemptuous Theo. With plenty of references to the 1980’s, it will certainly delight an audience of a certain age. But even if you didn’t grow up in the 80’s, there is certainly plenty to entertain in terms of the music, written with a hint of the 1980’s about them thanks to Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins. Vibrant and catchy, all of the songs show confidence and belief, that other original musicals sometimes lack. Yes, at times the humour can come across as slightly immature – particularly when Feris (Daniel Buckley) is involved and some of the script is slightly weak, but if this musical does become a full scale production (which hopefully it will if the standing ovation at the end is any indication) – there is still hopes for it to be re-tweaked slightly. Directed by Ian Talbot and Michael Jibson, it is clearly a highly energetic piece of theatre that is perhaps slightly lacking in heart and difficult to connect with (but as this is a concert performance this isn’t too much of a concern), yet it clearly has a lot of fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you missed it last night, look out for it soon – it is truly worth a watch. For more information about Eugenius! visit:   

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Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.

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