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Friday, April 07, 2023

Eugenius! "great music, some super songs, knock-about humour, and fabulous singing made for a really enjoyable funny, feel-good night out" @TurbineTheatre @eugeniusuk

Last night Stuart and I went to the diminutive Turbine Theatre next to London's glitzy Power Station to see Eugenius! - a thrilling, high-energy 80s-inspired British musical with a superhero-sized heart and an uplifting score.
The show opens with comic book character super-manly-super-sexy-super-spandexed Tough Man (impossibly handsome Dominic Andersen) addressing the audience directly. He's a Tough Man but worried that the love of his girlfriend Super Hot Lady might weaken his powers. Which sets the tongue-in-cheek tone for the rest of the show. 
Tough Man has been created by our chief protagonist and comic book fan Eugene (cute Elliott Evans) who, along with his geeky best friends Janey (power-house of a voice Jaina Brock-Patel) and Feris (perfect comic timing James Hameed), go to school in the UK. 
Tough Man and his back story came to Eugene in a dream. Only unbeknownst to Eugene, his dreams are real. So, when Hollywood comes a-knocking and his Tough Man comic gets made into a film it's only a matter of time before Tough Man's real-life arch-enemy (and brother) Evil Lord Hector (a gloriously camp villain Joseph Beach) arrives on the film set to kill the actor playing Tough Man. So far, so Galaxy Quest.
Needless to say, the script is very funny and there are loads of geeky niche references to 1980s comics, movies, kids TV, and musicals. It is all as camp as Christmas. That said, there is panache to spare and everyone's tongues are firmly in their collective cheeks.  
Unlike the trend for many recent "jukebox" musicals Eugenius! has its own unique score with book, music and lyrics - all by Ben Adams & Chris Wilkins. A fact in of itself is to be greatly admired.
In short, great music, some super songs, knock about humour, and fabulous singing made for a really enjoyable funny, feel-good night out.

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