Witty, refreshing and unique – Eugenius returns to recapture the hearts of geeks everywhere.
Having experienced the previous run of Eugenius earlier this year, I knew exactly what to expect from this heart-warming new musical – and as predicted, I had a lovely time returning to the story I fell in love with before.
Eugenius follows the story of a young self-proclaimed geek, Eugene, who goes on an adventure trying to make his comic book characters a Hollywood blockbuster. Set with a backdrop of 1980s America, this show references plenty of geeky culture and has a joke or reference to please everyone.
Rob Houchen, who took on the role of Eugene, was fabulous and brought a real level of depth to his character. I believed every aspect of his performance and felt that his voice was perfectly suited to the part. Combined with his chemistry with returning cast members Laura Baldwin (Janey) and Daniel Buckley (Feris), the trio led the show brilliantly and keep the energy of the show on an all-time high throughout.
The rest of the cast were excellent, with Neil McDermott perfectly capturing the idiotic craziness of the Evil Lord Hector. However it should be noted that I wasn’t particularly keen on Emily Tierney’s interpretation of Carrie (also known as Super Hot Lady). It felt like the character was made much more ditzy, and although Emily’s performance was vocally and visually strong, I found it difficult to connect with the character the same way that I had in the previous run. It’s likely that this was a director choice, however it really affected my feelings towards the character. Despite this Emily’s performance was still enjoyable and I likely wouldn’t have felt this way had I not been so attached to the previous portrayal of Carrie from the last production.
The humour of this show is really where it sets itself apart from other musicals. The modern jokes combined with 80s pop culture massively works to the show’s advantage and allows it to reach a unique demographic. The writing treads the narrow line of ridiculous and intelligent humour, which left the entire audience in fits of giggles by the end of the show.
Meanwhile, the set design and costumes (both by Hannah Wolfe) have both received a slight upgrade since the last production. The set and projections seemed to transition much more smoothly into the show, while the costumes were more distinctive and detailed, bringing the show to life in more.
The music, as I knew already, was brilliant; with incredibly catchy and originals songs which empowered the audience and created a distinct atmosphere from the offset. The new song, “Hands Up”, which was added specifically for this second run at The Other Palace, was a brilliant feminist number, which perfectly opened the second act and made much more of impact than its predecessor, “Super Hot Lady”.
Overall, I really enjoyed Eugenius! It’s an incredibly fun piece and it is a joy to see that it has returned to London. I’m certain they will have a very successful second run.
By Emily Schofield
Eugenius! will play at The Other Palace until the 20th October. To book tickets click here or visit: Ticketmaster.co.uk, See Tickets, Encore Tickets, From the Box Office, Love Theatre.com or Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk.