“silly and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but that’s what makes it so great”
Get ready to be transported to a world of 80s nostalgia, sci-fi and superheroes with Eugenius! The Other Palace celebrates its first birthday with the arrival of Eugene, a typical geek with a passion for comic books and writing and drawing his own. With the support of two of his close friends, it’s not long before his work sparks the interest of big shot producer, Lex, and Eugene is invited to Hollywood so his work can come to life. The teen’s real and fantasy worlds are about to collide and drama is about to unfold …
There’s an array of talent on stage. Liam Forde plays Eugene very well; from his physicality to his voice, he is the perfect geek and you can’t help but root for him throughout the show. Laura Baldwin proves to be a true show-stealer as Eugene’s best friend, Janey. She attacks the role with enthusiasm and her strong vocals are amongst the show’s highlights. However, she also balances out this gusto with a good level of warmth and softer moments. A special mention should also go to Ian Hughes as Evil Lord Hector, even if just for his hilarious facial expressions and physicality. It’s impossible not to laugh, in the best way, when he’s on stage!
Director Ian Talbot has got the ensemble to use the relatively small space well and they perform dance routines and songs with consistently high levels of energy, passion and great characterisation. The majority of the costumes (Hannah Wolfe) are bright, bold and complement the show very well.
Original songs, by the show’s creators Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins, are catchy and pack a real 80s-inspired punch. Personal highlights include “Who’s That Guy?”, Janey’s solo “The Future’s Bright” and, of course, the show’s main theme “Go Eugenius!”.
Eugenius! is silly and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but that’s what makes it so great. Amongst the bright colours, lights and memorable songs are themes including friendship and following your dreams, no matter what. If you’re after some escapism and a good old pick-me-up, you should see this feel-good, ‘eunique’ musical!
With rehearsals well under way, the UK Tour of Flashdance The Musical is about to spend the next year wowing audiences around the country.
The eighties classic American romantic drama will feature Strictly Come Dancing favourite Joanne Clifton as Alex Owens and A1’s Ben Adams as Nick Hurley.
With high energy and a seemingly never ending supply of legwarmers, the show promises to bring back that fun 80’s feeling and invites the audience to revisit a beloved film and era.
We sat down with Joanne and Ben to talk about the upcoming show and to learn a bit more about their Flashdance experience so far.
Joanne, how are you enjoying riding a bike around the stage?
‘Before the show, I couldn’t ride a bike… Well, I could ride it in a straight line but not around corners!’
Ben, you’ve had a varied career beginning with classical training and then moving onto the pop scene with A1 – how does belting out 80’s classics fit into your career at the moment?
‘I think 80’s is one of my favourite genres, I love this kind of music. When I listen to music at home, my Spotify playlist is mostly 80’s. My musical ‘Eugenius’is very 80’s inspired, as is my solo album so when Flashdance came along it all really tied together’
And Joanne, you are no stranger to different genres – from Strictly Come Dancing’s 1950’s jive, to your portrayal of the 1920’s flapper girl in Thoroughly Modern Millie, is the 80’s an era that you love?
‘I was born in the 80’s – I love shell suits! I like lots of genres, especially Hanson, what era is that? 90’s?’
I think so, does that mean you would audition for ‘Hanson, The Musical?
‘Definitely, I’d be the lead!’
What is it like working with each other on the show?
Ben – ‘There are a lot of laughs, it’s difficult because sometimes I will look at Joanne and if my lip starts to quiver then she can tell and it’s game over! We have been told off a couple of times for not being able to finish a scene’
Joanne – ‘We have a technique, when either of us knows the other is going to laugh, we just have to turn away!’
Lastly, how many pairs of legwarmers does the average cast member get through during a week of shows?
Ben – ‘Well I get through about 100 personally, backstage just trying them on’
Joanne – ‘I’m not sure, we are yet to see the costumes!’
With performances up and down the UK, be sure to check out this fun and colourful show, combining your favourite hits with fabulous choreography that will leave you dancing your way home – this one isn’t just for 80’s kids!
Joanne & Ben were speaking to Stephanie Legg at the launch of Flashdance The Musical
Flashdance The Musical opens 4th August at Glasgow King’s Theatre and is set to tour until July 2018. Full schedule at the official website: