A Selection of Reviews for West End Eurovision 2018:
The Reviews Hub
Winner Phantom of the Opera “simultaneously bonkers, bold and brilliantly executed”
“… … … But great as these performances are, it is the companies of the West End shows who deserve the greatest attention. With each performance predominantly undertaken by the junior members of each show’s ensemble, the evening is both a celebration of the depth of talent within the West End and a valuable fundraiser for HIV charities. Long may it continue.”
By Stuart King London Box Office
By Jonathan Evans
West End Eurovision 2018
“Fabulous and hilarious”
“… … … All-rounder Richard Gauntlett leads the proceedings, a man totally at home on the stage delivering in-jokes with the ability to mock and congratulate ‘showbiz’ both at the same time. To be a target of his satire is considered an honour. His banter is matched by the three judges: comedian, writer and actor Tom Allen, West End and TV star John Partridge and showbiz legend Arlene Phillips. But let’s cut to the chase – the reason we’re all here – which is the high-camp razzamatazz of each act’s performance. Selected cast from eight current West End Musicals give their own unique interpretation of a past Eurovision entry song.
The cast of “Hamilton” kick off the evening with a driven, streetwise rap version of ‘Cliché Love Song’. Next up is “Young Frankenstein” with ‘Take Me To Your Heaven’. “42nd Street” start off with a conventional ‘Boom Bang A Bang’ before Lulu interrupted and they switched into a roof raising rendition, culminating in Lulu’s trademark wail intro for ‘Shout’. The energy doesn’t drop throughout the night and with the “Kinky Boots” kick-ass rendition of ‘Warrior’ the roof began to look in danger of, literally, being brought down. After interval “Dreamgirls” superbly sent up Bucks Fizz with a parody of the original ‘Making Your Mind Up’, before hurling themselves into their own version of the song with as many tempo changes as harmonies. “Mamma Mia” performed ‘Undo’ and “Aladdin” fittingly closed the running order with the aptly titled ‘Drama Queen’.
And the winner is … (being a one night only event this is obviously not a spoiler) “Phantom Of The Opera” with a dramatic ‘Rise Like A Phoenix”. Fabulous and hilarious, Conchita would have adored this performance, complete with fake beards of varying, comic unshavenness (yes, that is a word). For me, it was a close run between them and “Dreamgirls”, but “Phantom” deserve the trophy. And the cherry on the cake is to have the award presented by Graham Norton.
With guest appearances from SuRie, our Eurovision representative this year in Lisbon, performing ‘Storm’, followed by Lucie Jones singing last year’s entry ‘Never Give Up on You’, this was a high energy show from which you do leave on a high. But we are not allowed, and quite rightly so, to ignore the serious side. TheatreMAD: the Make A Difference Trust raises funds for HIV and AIDS projects that build awareness and provide care, support and education in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa. Long may this annual event continue, and long may the Trust fly the flag for this totally mad night.”
By Playhouse Pickings
Review: More **stars** than I have characters to play with/out of 5 – West End Eurovision @MADTrust #WestEndEurovision @shaftsbury911 @arlenephillips @mustbejp @tomallencomedy @DickyGauntlett
“What a night. I could not imagine a better treat than seeing 8 of the best West End casts performing on the same stage in the same night. Not only that but we had this year’s … … … Denmark’s 2007 Drama Queen performed by Aladdin was also brilliant. I mainly loved the fact that the family show decided this may be their only opportunity to dress their extremely attractive male dancers in leather straps and belt… … … The time and effort which has gone into these performances by all of those on and off stage need to be applauded. Not only do the concepts of the productions need to be created, but then they need choreographed, learnt and rehearsed, as well as costumes, hair and makeup and designed (and boy were the costumes amazing) – all while doing 8 shows a week!”
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Celebrates A Stunning Double Victory At West End Eurovision 2018
” The cast of the West End’s longest running musical, The Phantom of the Opera, were hailed the stars of West End Eurovision 2018, scoring a remarkable double victory. Performing Conchita Wurst’s 2014 winning song ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’, and earing top marks of 106 – 36 ahead of their nearest rivals, Dreamgirls.
The Phantom of the Opera entry was voted overall winner and was also awarded the Judges Award – Best Creative from the judging panel of choreographer, director and showbiz legend Arlene Phillips, John Partridge and stand up star Tom Allen.
Featuring a cast of bearded characters including Conchita, Alphaba, Princess Jasmine and The Bearded Lady from The Greatest Showman and a fabulous quick change dress transfornation, The Phantom of the Opera cast stormed the event winning more top marks than any other
The third trophy of the night, the Best Ident, voted for by public text vote, was won by Hamilton.
The final result was:
1. The Phantom of the Opera – 106 votes
2. Dreamgirls – 70 votes
3. Aladdin – 60 votes
4. Young Frankenstein – 50 votes
5. 42nd Streeet – 42 votes
6. Kinky Boots – 38 votes
7. Mamma Mia – 32 votes
8. Hamilton – 24 votes
The evening also featured two epic performances by this year’s UK entry, SuRie performing the emotive and uplifting track Storm that carries the hopes of the UK at the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal on Saturday 12 May, and musical theatre leading actress Lucie Jones who represented the UK in 2017 with the nation’s best showing in eight years – with a dance version of her entry, Never Give Up On You.
Legendary charity production West End Eurovision was staged at the Shaftesbury Theatre for the first time in four years and was a sold-out strorming success.
Melanie Tranter, chair of the Make A Difference Trust said: “We are delighted to welcome back West End Eurovision and look forward to it becoming one of our annual fundraisers. Last night’s event was a testament to the generosity of the amazing people in the theatre community coming together to support the Trust. The funds raised will help us to continue our work supporting those living with of affected by HIV and AIDS. Congratulations to The Phantom of the Opera for a well deserved win. We all look forward to them defending the trophy next year.”
Since the first West End Eurovision contest was staged in 2008, the event has raised thousands to support the MAD Trust. The Trust works with its partners to support HIV and AIDS projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa building awareness and providing care support and education.”
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