It’s the merry month of May, which means it is … Eurovision! To celebrate, stream.theatre are hosting a virtual revival of Craig Christie’s witty parody of our country cousins across Europe, Eurobeat: The Pride of Europe.
Hosted by David O’Reilly’s ‘Orla Board’ as the glamorous and catty Marlene Cabana (a vision in a variety of wigs) this musical captures all the fun, eyebrow-raising, awkward silences of the much beloved song contest.
It also boasts excellent and hilarious musical numbers for each country, and a cast who throw thenselves into the (often tasteless) fun. There’s even a boring co-presenter, some “fascinating” facts about host country Lichtenstein, and an audience vote, with a results show to come in mid-May.
This show is new to me, although of course the Eurovision is not – I’m a long-time devotee of its jaw-dropping weirdness, curious energy, and social media giggles. It’s a highlight of the year, so Eurobeat is very welcome. The only thing I missed was a voiceover, but that’s possibly a peculiarly UK thing, with the tradition of a Wogan/Norton lampoon of every entry.
Every performance is a gem but I have to mention the nuns of the Vatican City (led by Claudia Kariuki) trying to be good girls; the pair of Norwegian vikings (Andy Coxon and Scott Paige), the UK’s Coward spoof (Tom Read Wilson & Harriet Thorpe), and Romania’s scary nonsense (a lively Sooz Kempner, who also doubles as a jaded Lichtensteinian).
The other performers are Aisha Jawando (Switzerland), Christine Allado (Sweden), David Ribi (Portugal), Joanne Clifton & George Olney (Lithuania), Scott Garnham (Ireland), and Tia Kofe (Ukraine). Well-aimed jibes at customs and winners from the past thread through all of these.
You’ll have a great time at this contest. Bravo Lichtenstein! 12 points all round! It us also filmed at the gorgeous Clapham Grand, impeccably directed by Max Bex Roberts, and choreographed by Callum Tempest, with musical direction by Adrian Kirk.
Eurobeat: The Pride of Europe streams until 10 May 2021: book here.
Image credits: Darren Bell
LouReviews received complimentary access to review Eurobeat: The Pride of Europe.