Review: Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe

Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe rips the piss out of Eurovision with great affection and some seriously good tunes

“Clap and cheer like crazy people”

Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe rises like a phoenix once again, now being hosted by Liechtenstein as Craig Christie’s musical enters the streaming market with a filmed performance from the Clapham Grand. Directed with a knowing wryness by Max Bex Roberts, the shows brings together 9 European nations and the UK to work through any number of Eurovision stereotypes in highly amusing style.

The show actually does a great job of ripping the piss out of so many of the Eurovision staples around the songs as well. The show-stealingly good hosting (David O’Reilly’s Orla Aboard nailing it as Marlene Cabana), dry Eurocrats reading out the rules (Andy Coxon being adorkable), the local colour (Sooz Kempner and Scott Paige in brilliant form), the little clips before each song. And a final number by Marlene hits a surprisingly authentic emotional note which lifts the spirits just before the voting begins.

But enough, here’s the brief notes from my scorecard, from douze points to nul!

Sweden
Reflecting many a Melodifestivalen winner, this is a stone cold banger (and one which I’m sure I’ve danced to in a gay bar somewhere or other!). Christine Allado sells it with just the right amount of Scandi-drama, modern dance and peerless vocals.

Ukraine
Tia Kofi singing a song called ‘Bang Me’? A’whora could never! Lyrically, possibly my favourite of all.

Romania
I have huge affection for this as it sounds just like any number of songs that I heard whilst visiting French markets on summer holidays, matched with a hugely game performance from Sooz Kempner.

Norway
Scott Paige and Andy Coxon have huge amounts of fun with this one which feels remarkably authentic whilst poking fun at just how overblown Eurobvision tracks can get.

Lithuania
Joanne Clifton and George Olney whip out some iconic dance moves in their athleisure with a track which feels destined to accompany you on the crosstrainer.

Portugal
Even with a cheeky flash of a nipple, David Ribi’s earnest ‘guitar’ pop doesn’t quite match the sonorous quality of his voice.

Switzerland 
‘Tick Tock’ not TikTok, Aisha Jawando delivers a chirpy piece of Europop most entertainingly but you’re not likely to remember it 30 minutes later.

Ireland 
Scott Garnham knows exactly how to work the Eurobeat voter – traditional instruments, a flash of chest hair and an astonishingly effective earworm of a tune. Bonus points for introducing a brand new dance concept called Riverdance…

Vatican City
A rare mis-step which feels taken out of a differently-minded show. A take-off of Sister Act the Musical rather than any Eurovision trope, it sadly falls flat.

UK 
Harriet Thorpe and Tom Read Wilson offer up a gently amusing Private Lives-styled,  70s-tuned duet but it isn’t one which hits any particularly high points, it mainly feels like a comic opportunity missed, as highlighted by Marlene’s zingers that introduce and close the number.

Running time: 80 minutes
Eurobeat is streaming via stream.theatre until 10th May

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