MuggleNet Review: “Eugenius!” Starring Warwick Davis
Eugenius! is a new musical produced by, and starring, Warwick Davis that recently held its premiere concert performance at the London Palladium.
A concert performance is a scaled back version of a musical or opera that may, as it was for this one, be put on in order to attract investors. The set and costuming were limited, and the cast carried scripts throughout. But unlike most similar performances, which are held in out-of-the-way locations with small audiences, Eugenius! had sold out the infamous 2,000-seater London Palladium.
Eugenius! is an original story set in, and inspired by, the ’80s. It follows Eugene, a geek who spends all his spare time working on his own comic book about Tough Man and his long-lost brother, and nemesis, the Evil Lord Hector. This takes Eugene to Hollywood to turn his comic into a movie, where Hector turns out to be a little more than fictional and looking for vengeance against his brother. If Eugene ever got his head out of his comic book, he would notice that his friend Janey is crazy about him – the root of the sweet and amusing love story the show is billed to be. There are familiar themes about following your dreams and the lure and realities of Hollywood with a good, old-fashioned comic book villain in need of being defeated thrown in.
Davis plays Lord Hector with relish; his enjoyment of the character is infectious, and you cannot help but be entertained by his brilliantly over-the-top “baddie,” especially in the character’s interactions with Hollywood producer Lex – played by Olivier Award-winning actor David Bedella. Louis Maskell is also noteworthy for his portrayal of Eugene, making him such a lovable and for us geeks, relatable character. The ’80s-inspired score is key to what makes the musical a success. It is made up of so many good songs that the audience could still be heard singing as they left the theater. Particularly memorable are “Comic Book Kind of Love” and “Go Eugenius!” – a reprise of which ended the show on a triumphant high.
Eugenius! is an awesome combination of amazing, catchy songs and ’80s geek culture references. It will appeal to the geek in everyone, whether you remember the ’80s or not. And if the show ending with the audience on its feet, clapping, dancing, and singing along is anything to go by, a full production of it should soon be on its way to London’s West End.