Eugenius! September 9th – The Other Palace (Super Fan Sunday) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had no idea what to expect from this show when I got the tickets, I knew 3 things about it;

  1. It’s set in the 80’s
  2. It’s about comic book heros
  3. It’s produced by Warwick Davies

All of the above things were correct but what I didn’t know was that from the moment I stepped into the theatre I would fall in love with this show, the fairy lights and florescent pink lighting instantly transported me into another world. The show reminded me of those B-movies that are so awful they’re brilliant except there was nothing awful about this show, just pure brilliance. This new British musical written by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins is quite something to behold. There’s been a lot of social media hype, people just can’t seem to get enough of this show and it’s not hard to see why! It’s an upbeat, entertaining and exciting show full of 80’s references, catchy songs, perfect dancing and a phenomenal cast.

The show centres around Eugene, (Rob Houchen) a self proclaimed Geek who spends his evenings neglecting his homework instead writing comic books about his favourite super hero Tough Man, his trusty sidekick Super Hot Lady and their arch nemesis Evil Lord Hector. The story follows Eugene and his 2 best friends Janey (Laura Baldwin) and Feris (Chris Wilkins) on a journey to Hollywood and beyond, along the way they meet a stereotypical Hollywood movie producer (Alex Bourne) a Super Hot Lady (Emily Tierney) and some fish people (you’ll have to go and watch it to see where they fit in)

Rob Houchen brings a wonderful innocence to the role of Eugene however his boyish good looks give off the vibe of Hipster Geek rather than Comic Book Geek. his voice is sublime and works very well in his solo song Comic Book Kind of Love.

Feris is that boy that every school had, who wasn’t cool at all but in his head he was a total legend and all the ladies wanted him. This weekend one of the shows writers Chris Wilkins stepped into Feris’s luminous fanny pack and what an outstanding job he did. I could see throughout the whole show Chris was having the time of his life! The role is the comedy relief in the show and Chris pulled it off brilliantly, delivering some of the best moments in the show for me (personal favourite being The No Pants Dance) I can only imagine how he felt seeing the whole audience join in with the singing and iconic choreography of ‘Go You Genius’ at the end of the show.

There are so many brilliant actors in this show and if I spoke about them all I’d be here forever! So special mentions go to:

Scott Paige who plays a camp as christmas movie assistant with a thing for powerful men. His facial expressions are hilarious and he is brilliant at being over the top when needed but also knows when to play it down and keep things subtle.

Emily Tierney as Super Hot Lady/Carrie is laugh out loud hilarious, Emily has brilliant physicality and will have you belly laughing all throughout the audition scene.

Neil Mcdermott as Evil Lord Hector gives us a brilliant evil ‘genius’ who is actually quite dim. Neil is absolutely superb in this role, he’s got the crazy evil thing down to a tee! Every movement, facial expression and eye twitch from Neil is so precise and perfect, you both hate and love his character by the end.

The music in this show is outstanding, it’s got an 80’s feel with modern twists. The songs are catchy as hell and I guarantee you’ll be singing them for weeks after you see this show! I have only 2 criticisms in this area, firstly often the band drowned out the singing and some of the lines were lost due to the volume and secondly, some of the lyrics were incredibly fast paced which sometimes meant you could not quite understand what was being said and I fear I lost out on some comedy moments because of this.

Overall this show is amazing, I was lucky enough to attend a Super Fan Sunday performance so there was a Q&A after the show with some cast members as well as the writers, its so nice to see a creative team who are fully aware of the impact their fans can have on the success of a show and who have decided to say thank you to their fans in a brilliant way! As part of the Super Fan Sunday package you can also get a free poster (different character each week) access to exclusive merch and you have the chance to get a Tough Man Lego Figure too! (I managed to get one and he now has pride of place on my mantle)

It has to be said, in an ever growing list of Broadway transfers and jukebox musicals in the West End it’s great to see a British musical with an original score carving it’s way into the theatre scene. I really hope this gets given a West End run as it thoroughly deserves it and so does everyone involved!

I’m now a big fan of this show and have already booked to go again, I highly recommend it. It’s a feel good show with a good message at it’s core

GO YOU GENIUS! GO EUGENE!

Tickets can be purchased from The Other Palace and range from £19-£55. Eugenius is running until Oct 20th 2018 – Special Super Fan Sunday tickets are available for £30.

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DUNDU with The World Beaters – St Leonards Festival – June 30th

My local town throws a festival every summer, its full of music, dancing and performances. The Saturday night gave us an exciting performance from the DUNDU puppet company accompanied by the World Beaters drumming group. It was a joyous night full of exhilarating drum beats, emotional moments and unity.

It began with the 5 World Beat drummers snaking their way around the square. Their costumes glitter covered, their faces painted and their drums lit with LED’s. The drumming had an African beat and you couldn’t help but want to dance along with them.

They moved through the crowd with ease and you quickly realised this was to become a promenade piece. We were led towards a small stage in a corner of the square where we were introduced to Little DUNDU: a small puppet with whom you instantly fell in love with. He was cheeky, charming and cute all in one. He is controlled by 5 very talented puppeteers who really give a masterclass on how to do it well. He danced his way across the square using the crowd as stepping stones on his journey.

The puppeteers brilliantly interacted with the crowd at one point entering Little DUNDU into a dance off with a small child (the puppet won in my opinion!)

We were later introduced to Big DUNDU who is a 10ft light up puppet

His grand stance leaves you with a sense of awe and amazement. He moves with a slow grace, I was amazed that not once did I hear the puppeteers communicating about where they were going to move or who in the crowd they were going to interact with, they just knew and clearly work very closely together.

Overall I would say if you have the chance to see either of these groups perform then do it. You come away knowing you’ve seen something spectacular and life changing.

(apologies for video quality I only have my camerphone with me)

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Apollo Theatre – 21/05/18

Well what can I say, having seen this show before I knew I was in for a good time! This show won Best New Musical at the What’s onstage awards 2017 and its not hard to see why!

For anyone who doesn’t know this show, it’s based on the true life story of Jamie Campbell who at 16 years old knew his calling in life was to be a Drag Queen. The show follows Jamie through the first few months after his 16th birthday on his journey of self discovery. It has been based on a BBC3 documentary ‘Jamie: Drag Queen at 16’ first shown in 2011.

Firstly I have to commend Dan Gillespie Sells for the outstanding music, and Tom Macrae for the lyrics and book. Every song has a different style yet they all fit together so well. From the upbeat and modern sound of ‘And you don’t even know it’ to the slow heart wrenching ballad ‘He’s my boy’ I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house at the end of the latter.

The songs in this show really are the stand out thing for me, the lyrics are comedic in places and heartbreaking in others, you can’t help but sing them on your way home.

The choreography is very well thought out in this piece, as a choreographer Kate Prince really knows what she’s doing, one minute there’s breakdancing next there’s a very contemporary and moving duet. The style changes so effortlessly throughout the piece and every movement tells a story.

The staging of this piece is incredibly clever, you’re instantly transported from a classroom to a kitchen then onto a back yard which magically transforms to a clothes shop in an instant. Great design work by Anna Fleischle. This piece really gets the use of video media correct, many shows try and fail to incorporate digital media but this piece does it seamlessly.

The character of Jamie is so brilliantly brought to life by John McCrea who makes his west end leading role debut in this piece. John is an absolute star and by God don’t we know it. He’s approached Jamie with the perfect amount of sass, vulnerability and heartwarming nievety. If John doesn’t go far following this role I’ll be very surprised.

Jamie’s mum in this evenings show was brilliantly portrayed by Rebecca McKinnis who gave a truly breathtaking performance. You truly felt the love she had for her son and it was a performance that really pulled on your heartstrings.

The 3 drag queens (Alex Anstey, Daniel Jacob and James Gillan) aren’t given enough stage time for my liking, but the actors sure do make the most of the little time they have in the spotlight, they bring the true drag queen grit to the piece never failing to make me laugh with their crass behaviours.

Finally I have to give mention to the supporting chorus, every member stood out in their own special way and really brought the piece together. When they are all on stage you’re spoilt for choice as to where to place your attention.

It’s a great show and huge well done to everyone involved! I will happily admit, I am in love with this piece, you can’t help but feel empowered and like you can take on the world when you come out of the theatre and as Jamie puts it ‘sometimes you have to grab life by the balls, then tuck those balls between your legs and put on your best fucking dress!’

I encourage anyone who has the chance, to go and see this show, you honestly won’t regret it. Its currently booking up until October 6th 2018.

Welcome to Rosie Reviews!

Hello there!!

Welcome to my new blog! If you’re here chances are you’ve found me through my twitter so thanks for coming over!

So this first blog is just going to explain a little bit about me and what to expect 🙂

I live in the South East of the UK (about 90 mins from London), I’m 25 years old and in short, I am a huge fan of all things theatre but especially Musicals. I usually head to twitter after seeing a show and try to summarise my thoughts in 140 characters (which isn’t easy!) so I thought I’d start a blog so I can go a bit more in depth with my thoughts and random musings.

I’m going to write a blog whenever I see a new piece, and will try to only review things that still have time/tickets left in their run so if you enjoy my review you can go and see it!

I will also be sharing any discount codes or deals I find online so you guys can benefit from them as well.

Also if anyone has any recommendations for things I should definitely go and see please let me know in the comments 🙂

Well, I’ll leave it here for now. I am going to see ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ at the Apollo Theatre tonight so I shall pop a review for that on here later on!

Much love,

Rx

P.s I am in no way sponsored all opinions shows in the blog are my own 😁