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Eugenius! Archive footage REVIEW

How have I only just realised this has been released?! Eugenius! was one of those shows I would have loved to have caught during its run at The Other Palace, and now, as a silver lining to the black cloud of Coronavirus, archive footage of the show has appeared online.

Okay, it’s not wonderfully filmed but it is a great way to catch a show which you may have missed or just want to relive. The video is available on the Eugenius! Facebook page.

This coming-of-age school-based love story with a superhero twist is beautifully daft, adorably ridiculous and hilariously silly. It doesn't have a wonderfully developed plot, but what problems it does have it makes up for in bungles of energy, wit and self-belief. You can’t not smile watching this show, try it! I dare you! Impossible!

Screenshot taken from the archive footage

The 80s nostalgia-packed production follows the dreams of young Eugene (Rob Houchen) as he imagines life as his made-up comic book characters Tough Guy and Super Hot Lady. After his stories are snapped up by Hollywood, Eugene continues to miss the adoration from his friend Janey (Laura Baldwin) whilst attempting to battle the bad guys (both in alien form and classic high school bullies).

Rob Houchen, Laura Baldwin and Dan Buckley are adorable as almost a kind of Harry, Ron and Hermione of the 80s. The trio are the heroes you want to root for from the start and are joined by a myriad of characters. Scott Paige delivers some crowd pleasing lines as wonderfully camp movie director Theo but Emily Tierney’s ditzy overacting of Super Hot Lady was a little forced.

Laura Baldwin as Janey Rob Houchen as Eugene and Dan Buckley as Feris. Photo - Scott-Rylander

Eugenius! is filled with undeniably catchy songs which makeup it’s boppy and nostalgic 80s soundtrack. Both the music and script is packed with references from the decade but still manages to delight all ages.

I imagine that in the cosy The Other Palace auditorium you must feel so immersed in the production. It was wonderful to watch an audience become so captured by a show and fist pump their way through the finale. A perfect way to battle the withdrawal symptoms of not visiting a real theatre for several months.

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