How Do You Make A Musical New Again?

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to be invited to a sneak peek at Eugenius ahead of performances starting at The Other Palace. Having started as a workshop production at the London Palladium, Ben Adam and Chris Wilkins’ superhero musical Eugenius captured the hearts of audiences during a run at The Other Palace earlier this year. It was such a hit, that The Other Palace are giving the show another run beginning September 1st.  At the launch, we were treated to performances as well as a Q&A session with Ben, Chris and some of the cast too. Given this is the 3rd incarnation of the show, how does a creative team make a musical new again?

Taking A Clearer Approach

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Clearer (and other variations) was a word that popped up a lot during the Q&A session. Between the runs, the creative team have found that this time round, the production is a lot more clearer in what the show wants to be. And that involves changing aspects from the script to refining characters down to choreography and allows the creative team to take a step back to what does work in the show and what doesn’t.

New Cast Members

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This time round the production has a new leading man in Rob Houchen as the main protagonist Eugene. As a massive fan of Les Miserables, Rob is one of my all time favourite Marius’ and it’s so exciting to see him in a new role. He truly has such a stunning voice and his performance of Comic Book Kind of Love with just a piano playing showcased this perfectly. Also joining the cast is Neil McDermott as Evil Lord Hector, who I had previously seen in The Wind and the Willows as well as Emily Tierney, who has played Glinda in both Wicked and The Wizard of Oz, joins as Carrie along with a lot of the ensemble.

A New Song

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Although this wasn’t one of the songs performed at the acoustic, Ben & Chris did reveal that the character of Carrie now has a new song called Hands Up, added specifically for this run, which is great! Her main entrance song titled “Super Hot Lady” always felt a bit out of place for me, because I’ve never been sure if it was written that objectifying in an ironic way or not. So I’m excited to see how the new song develops the character.

I really enjoyed Eugenius both times I’ve seen the show, combining my love of musicals and superheroes is a winner for me. I loved hearing how passionate Ben and Chris are for the show as well as how passionate the fans of the show are! They mentioned some fans have tattoos of the lyrics and someone at the press launch has already booked to see the show 31 times! If that doesn’t show how much joy this show brings to people, what will?

Be sure to check out Eugenius at The Other Palace from the 1st September to 7th October. For tickets and more information please visit https://www.theotherpalace.co.uk/whats-on/eugenius. Be sure to also check out the Eugenius cast album on good streaming and downloadable platforms.

Until next time,

hayley-sprout-transparent

*photos by me!

 

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