The Other Palace
Reviewed – 1st February 2018
“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!
Reviewed by Emily K Neal
Photography by Pamela Raith
The Other Palace until 3rd March