Eurovision vote will count
PUBLISHED: 13:08 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 17:24 16 August 2010
THE rise of block voting and the huge gap between bland Europop and silly novelty songs has made the Eurovision Song Contest less and less fun every year,
THE rise of block voting and the huge gap between bland Europop and silly novelty songs has made the Eurovision Song Contest less and less fun every year, so it's good to have Eurobeat (Churchill Theatre, Bromley) to remind us how it used to be, writes Mark Campbell.
Written by Craig Christie and Andrew Patterson, the show presents us with ten typical Eurovision-style songs and then invites the audience to text in which ones they like best.
Theatregoers are assigned a random country when they arrive (I was the UK), so the voting procedure mirrors the real-life version and presents us with a different winner every night.
In fact the choice is really only limited to three candidates: Estonia, Russia and Sweden, any of whose gyrating lycra-clad performers guarantees a place near the top.
The songs are all cleverly written musical satires, but some are more enjoyable than others.
We got the joke with Iceland's Bjork-style dirge in the first few bars and Germany's Kraftwerk pastiche was weird rather than funny.
But the UK's I Love to Love to Love (Love) was a spot-on dig at our perennially chirpy entries that seem to get us absolutely nowhere, while La La La was the Irish entry, sung by Ronan Corr virtually invisible under swirling dry ice.
Supposedly set in Sarajevo, presenter-turned-actor Les Dennis donned an ill-fitting toupee and a Borat-inspired accent to play co-host Sergei.
His partner Boyka was a splendidly over-the-top Mel Giedroyc whose demented laugh and vacuous 'adlibs' were brilliantly observed.
A few drunken specimens in the front row were treated to several dryly delivered one-liners from the pair, most notably involving the sign language interpreter and a very rude gesture.
An evening of unbridled low comedy, Eurobeat's jokes were generally best before 1975 and the atmosphere highly reminiscent of a Butlins variety show in Bognor Regis. (And I say that in a good way.)
Cut the pointless video inserts and make the actual voting period longer, and I predict this show will run and run - much like the Eurovision Song Contest itself.
* The next production at the Churchill Theatre will be All You Need Is Love from 22-26 July. Tickets: 0870 060 6620.