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Eugenius The Full Company Photo Scott Rylander.jpg

The origin story of Eugenius!

Carly-Ann Clements

By Carly-Ann Clements Published 7 September 2018

Last night, the outrageously popular comic book musical Eugenius! officially opened at The Other Palace for a second time. Packed with superheroes, geeks and 1980s nostalgia, it’s no wonder it was an instant cult hit. So to celebrate its latest run, we’re going right back to the beginning to explore its origin story.

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The history of Eugenius!

Back in 2016, Ben Adams (of A1 fame) and Chris Wilkins’ creation was staged at the London Palladium as a concert production. The score littered with synthesisers, ballads, and catchy earworms that’ll creep into your subconscious was performed by an all-star cast including Summer Strallen, David Bedella, Marcus Brigstocke and Amy Lennox.  It was an instant success and plans for the heart-warming, quirky show were quickly developed.

At the beginning of 2018, a fully-staged production of Eugenius! opened at The Other Palace for a strictly limited run. Full of energy, pop culture references, shiny costumes, and possibly the catchiest song in musical history, it gained favour with theatre-goers once again, in turn creating a social media frenzy. And thanks to the voice of the people and the immense popular demand, a rare second run at The Other Palace was planned.

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Before the highly-anticipated second run began, Eugenius! performed at West End LIVE 2018 and it rocked the joint! And thanks to that catchy song and its memorable choreography, the audience was quickly singing and dancing along.

Now, it’s back and its continued popularity is already a gleaming beacon of success. With many of the cast members reprising their roles, some new faces and a few tweaks to the script, it’s bigger and better than ever. The original six-week run has already been extended by two weeks due to a phenomenal response, so you have a bit more time to catch this immensely entertaining show.

Eugenius 4 Laura Baldwin as Janey and Rob Houchen as Eugene Photo Scott Rylander.jpg

What’s it actually about?

Eugene is a self-proclaimed geek. He spends most of his time working on his comic book Tough Man – a tale of a space-dwelling superhero who must fight his evil twin brother Hector to save the world alongside his sidekick, Super Hot Lady. When a real-life Hollywood producer comes to his school to find potential film ideas, Eugene’s best friends Janey and Feris put his comic book up for consideration. When Tough Man is selected for the silver screen, Eugene is forced to find the hero within and fight the surprising villains he encounters.

Eugenius - Neil McDermott as Evil Lord Hector and Company Photo Scott Rylander.jpg

Reasons to see Eugenius!

It’s so much fun!

Some shows try to hit you hard in the feels. Some try to make you think. This one just wants you to have fun. Yes, there’s the overarching message of sticking to your beliefs and being your own superhero, but when it boils down to it, Eugenius! just wants to entertain you. Spandex neon costumes, silly rubber masks, paint-splattered floors, ridiculous accents, and on-the-nose jokes allow you to relax and enjoy what’s on stage for what’s on stage – a joyous celebration of comic book tropes and musical theatre.

The songs

List all of the ’80s music genres you can think of. They’re all in there. From tongue-in-cheek raps to massive power ballads, the catchy score is a love letter to everyone’s favourite decade. And, to make it even more magical, the actors are incredible. Rob Houchen (Eugene), Laura Baldwin (Janey), Daniel Buckley (Feris), and Alison Arnopp (Space Diva/Mrs Truthstretcher) have sensational voices that will leave your whole body tingling.

The pop references

From Yoda to Back To The Future, Batman to The Fraggles, you’re constantly reminded of the genius produced in the ’80s. Plus, along with the blatant references, there are some golden jokes that will make you chuckle with glee.

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