Hailed as the “world’s first interactive musical”, Eurobeat was a hit at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe, before embarking on a nationwide tour prior to its London transfer. It opened 9 September 2008 (previews from 4 September) at the Novello Theatre (See 1st Night Photos, 10 Sep 2008), where it had been booking until 15 November 2008. It will now finish a fortnight earlier, on 1 November.
Eurobeat assigns audience members to one of ten competing countries and, as with the real Eurovision, invites them to vote for their favourite contestants via text message, with a nightly winner announced at the end of the performance. There’s also a video introduction by Terry Wogan, and plenty of flag-waving, horn-blowing, clacker-slapping and cheering.
Set in Sarajevo, Eurobeat is hosted by the eccentric duo of children’s TV presenter Sergei (played by Les Dennis) and Boyka (Mel Giedroyc, of Mel & Sue), a former Olympic pole-vaulting champion, lifestyle programme hostess and cabaret performer.
In addition to Dennis and Giedroyc, the company includes Sarah Boulton, Emma Brooke, Sarah Cahalarn, Emma Cannon, Adam Charles-Hills, Mairi Cowieson, Scott Garnham, Lewis Griffiths, Natasha Jayetileke, Arvid Larsen, Kay Murphy, Craig Perry, Sergio Priftis and Carl Stallwood.
The show is written by Aussies Andrew Patterson and Craig Christie, produced and directed by Glynn Nicholas, designed by Richard Jeziorny and choreographed by Natalie K Marsland and Andrew Hallsworth.
Next up at the Novello Theatre is the Royal Shakespeare Company’s winter West End residency, running from 3 December 2008 to 7 March 2009 and comprising three productions: the sell-out Hamlet starring David Tennant, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Taming of the Shrew (See News, 9 Jun 2008).
- by Terri Paddock
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