Comic actress and former Light Lunch presenter Mel Giedroyc was singled out for praise by her Eurobeat colleagues, following the press night of the kitsch Eurovision musical.
“To work with Mel is a comedy gift, it really is,” co-star Les Dennis told Official London Theatre at Eurobeat’s opening night party. “I think because we’ve both come from double acts before we’re not being selfish, we’re working as a unit and it’s great fun.”
The pair play Eurobeat hosts Boyka and Sergei, who lead the audience through the spandex-clad, sexually-ambiguous Europe-wide song contest held, on this occasion, in Sarajevo (and at the Novello theatre).
The first West End musical to distribute lurid pink clackers to the audience, involve voting by text message and feature a lead dressed as a turnip, Eurobeat is written by Andrew Patterson and Craig Christie, who was also effusive in his praise of Giedroyc: “Mel, who has been with it since the start in Edinburgh, has sort of made the character her own, and she’s just a joy to work with. She leads by example, so the company adores her and, I think, the audience also gets an extraordinarily great deal out of the enormous wit and enthusiasm that she brings to the stage.”
Originally staged in Australia in 2003, Eurobeat’s journey across the world to the West End has included the Edinburgh Festival and a national tour. After Tuesday’s press night, Christie agreed that all the hard work was worth it. “The one objective of this show was for people to have a good fun night out and become involved, leave everything else outside and just come in and enjoy it,” he said. “I think it really proved that’s something we can do tonight.”
Former Family Fortunes host Dennis agreed, but admitted worrying about how active a first night audience including press and invited guests would be. He was relieved when “thankfully they got hold of their clackers and their flags and they got involved. It was as good a press night as we could have hoped for.”
Eurobeat continues to entertain audiences at the Novello theatre until 15 November.