Eugenius – the story of Eugene, who is a Genius.
What a bizarre show. It is not consistently clear that it is actually set in the 80s – which is a key piece of information for making the content not feel outdated. The writing is very funny in parts, but the whole production borders on pantomime with its Villain, Victim and a whole lot of confusion set up.
The lyrics certainly leave something to be desired, with an awful lot of ‘ooooh’ ‘yeaaaaah’. The music itself is fun and uplifting but the lyrics don’t match it and really miss an opportunity to bring the show from pantomime to feel good, west end hit.
Laura Baldwin is a very strong lead and performs everything with the gusto it requires not to fall flat on its face – her pop ballad in the second act deserves a particular mention. While the ensemble is generally strong, Frances Dee is a stunning dancer and unfortunately makes the other members seem as though they’re just not trying hard enough.
It is often just too much. Too much costume, too much light, too much sound, even. The lights are actually quite a problem at several moments. It must be possible to create a disco feeling on stage without blinding the audience in the process.
Eugenius has the almost infuriating Mamma Mia effect (as it shall now be known) – it is not a stand out show in writing, choreography, vocal performance or anything else, really. You leave the theatre feeling rejuvenated and energised, most of the audience standing and clapping their hands through the
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