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“EUROBEAT”


Along with many audience members, I was not sure what to expect from this ‘spoof’ on Eurovision – what we got was a fun and glitzy evening’s entertainment, with all the awfulness of Eurovision, in what was a great, fun show.


The audience really bought into the ethos from the start –we were told to keep our phones on so that we could vote once the 10 songs had been performed, and from then we had a ball.


Stuart Farrar and Michelle Wiltshire were the over the top hosts, for this bumper bundle of typical Eurovision-type songs.  Their presentation was very tongue-in-cheek with some clever references and pseudo malapropisms which caused great guffaws of laughter.


Stuart looked very suave and sophisticated, whilst Michelle had very interesting headgear, and two lovely gowns, that suited the feel.  These two had a super love/hate relationship, and the barbed banter was very funny.


The songs were so typical of Eurovision, and it was interesting that although the audience weren’t very receptive to Russia – they actually won on the night I was there!!  


Jo Yirrell sang the song for Italy, looking charming in her red and black outfit – with backing from four ladies, who appeared in various guises throughout the evening.  The song started with an operatic feel, then into a typical popsy tune, with Dave Corbett rapping added in for good value – three genres in one!


In all the songs there were interesting words, with lots of double entendres and surprisingly tuneful.


Jonny Mills performed the Polish entry, with Richard Cowling and Dave Corbett as his backing singers.  The campness from all three came over really well – and we just enjoyed it.  


Charlotte Mitchell in a very OTT white dress, performed the entry from Iceland, very dramatic and quite repetitive – but Charlotte really put her all into it, backed by three ladies in black, which contrasted well.  I liked this entry, it was a great contrast to the cheeriness of the previous two songs.


Then we came to the really twee UK entry – performed so well by Emma and Jonny Mills.  Lots of heart-hands, loving glances, and the occasional bum note from Emma, which was achieved very well, it’s quite difficult to deliberately sing off-key!  A really good comedy moment.


Then we moved on to Russia – represented by the K.G. Boys – Dave Corbett, Jonny Mills, Richard Cowling and John O’Leary.  These four guys created their own characters, and the song was actually quite good – enhanced with some very good vocals, particularly from Richard Cowling, who really threw himself into the choreography as well as the singing – he couldn’t disguise his lovely voice!!  Well done guys, you presented the whole package – well sung, and good choreography, that you really took on and performed well!


I loved the very national feel of the Hungarian entry – the costumes were good and the song was performed so well by Debbie Cavanagh, Barbara Storey and Emma Mills.  Very earnest and po-faced – making it great fun and such a good contrast to the other songs.


John O’Leary was the entry from Ireland, accompanied by lots of smoke, and Kate Johnson performing a slightly bad Irish dance – after trying to remove the Guinness glass unobtrusively!!  Good touches, but John actually sang the rather dodgy song very well.


The Greek entry was sung with great intensity by Lisa Abella, in her charming Grecian style dress, backed by the obligatory three girls in black, with floaty scarves – very serious, but again fun.


The German entry was a song with no words – performed by Stacey Peck, Amy Price and Charlotte Mitchell.  The costumes were very colourful, and it caused great hilarity because there were no words.


The final entry was Sweden – the two men and two women in white, played by Jo Harris, Jo Yirrell, Jonny Mills and Richard Cowling – a really good take on Abba, with much humour – I liked Jonny going off one side, and everyone looking for him, then him coming back in on the other side – all added to the performance.


The entertainment after the interval featured Stuart with a goat .... very funny, and Michelle appearing as a turnip – so kitsch, but typical of the perception of Eurovision.

Before the interval we all voted, and the results were given in true Eurovision style on the two screens on either side of the stage – which throughout the performances had shown colours and scenes, and created extra interest.


The setting in blacks, with a rostra outlined with lights all helped to create the glamorous, feel, enhanced by some excellent lighting effects from Paul Horsler and his team.  Sound was good throughout too – well done Joel Middleton.


So – a good fun evening, taking advantage of the glitz and glamour, plus downright craziness of Eurovision, but it was obvious that the cast had worked extremely hard to get that level of so bad it was very good.








St. Andrew’s Players

EUROBEAT

review date: 16TH May 2014 Luton Library Theatre

  Director: John O’Leary

MD: Richard Cowling

Choreographer: Kate Johnson & Lynette Driver

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