SONG CONTEST - THE ALMOST EUROVISION EXPERIENCE
"This is the anti-Eurovision and it is a delight to see all the outrageousness skewered so mercilessly and with such skill. Don't expect to stay quiet for this one, let Nicholas and co. dazzle you with this clever, naughty and delightfully cheesy night out. A breathless and infectious homage to Eurovision. Must not be missed, see a cult hit in the making – you certainly won’t be disappointed."
ARTS HUB - APRIL 2016
“Achingly funny ….as noisy as a pop concert mashed with an AFL game, but with more sequins. The more over-the-top it got, the funnier it became…songs may be parodies with mischievous lyrics but are hilariously memorable… a license for rampant partisanship, bribery and enthusiastic participation.”
HERALD SUN - APRIL 2016
“phenomenal performances with sexy choreography and powerhouse vocals… blew us away…trust us when we say it will be one of the best night’s out you’ll ever have….so much better than the real thing.”
VULTURE MAGAZINE - APRIL 2016
“The energy at The Alex Theatre to open Song Contest is unlike any I have ever felt before at a new musical…costumes have more sequins, glitter and fabulous flair than Mardi Gras...a smorgasbord of European inspired pop hits…utterly hilarious… this is a laugh out loud musical gem”
THEATRE PEOPLE – April 2016
“Song Contest was very loud and lots of fun. It’s hard to take off something as over the top as Eurovision, but they succeeded and the audience loved it. The singers were all excellent and better than many Eurovision competitors I have seen…this is a great night out.”
STAGE WHISPERS - APRIL 2016
There is no reason to believe that Song Contest – The Almost Eurovision Experience – like the real thing – won’t develop a cult following to perhaps (or perhaps not) even rival The Rocky Horror Show!
THE BLURB - APRIL 2016
Why is this parody of a parody so ridiculously enjoyable? …makes fun out of Eurovision rather than fun of it…sharp-clawed and morbid playfulness…all bets are off here…songs go far beyond the initial joke… eye popping designs…choreography by Jason Coleman and Yvette Lee…certainly tooled for commercial success…best of all Song Contest takes full advantage of the live experience…it’s certainly rowdy…audience gets to vote and the outcome changes from night to night
THE AUSTRALIAN - APRIL 2016
DAPTO CHASER, GRIFFIN THEATRE, SYDNEY JULY 2015
"What happens over the course of 90 enthralling minutes is a luscious mix of ingredients that make a spicy, unexpected, twisting, turning narrative. The four characters are richly fashioned and the actors grab them with both hands and make the most of them. Director Glynn Nicholas steers the production with a light hand and, being an accomplished clown and mime in his own right, has also coached the actors in the art of training and handling an invisible greyhound –The Dapto Chaser is funny, rude, illuminating and a fine play that’s meaningful and extremely entertaining. Not to be missed."
STAGE NOISE - DIANA SIMMONDS
"Credit to producer Dino Dimitriadis for attracting this cast, and just as significantly, for appointing Glynn Nicholas as director. The Dapto Chaser is a drama that necessarily contains a great deal of humour, although at no time is it played for laughs, which is why it works. It’s especially in this area that Nicholas’ expertise and experience becomes evident. The tweaking of phraseology and comedic syncopation and timing, turns a fine script into a series of “moments”
"Glynn Nicholas has directed the piece with delicacy, and his use of the small space at the SBW Stables Theatre is very clever… The Dapto Chaser is an important addition to Australian theatre. Profound, funny, heart-warming and deeply moving, this play about dogs is less about dogs and more about brotherhood. Not to be missed."
"The Dapto Chaser is a sympathetic yet unflinching look at a sporting subculture and at people whose disadvantage is entrenched…humourfrom every twist of the plot and the play glows in this well acted and thoroughly realised production directed by Glynn Nicholas."
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
"Human resilience and the popular notion of the Aussie battler doing it tough, are expressed thoroughly and fluently by director Glynn Nicholas, who brings to the stage a microcosm of a disadvantaged family that is rarely revealed at such powerful and intimate detail. An invisible fifth character, the dog at the symbolic centre of its entire narrative, is given presence by a hint of deftly generated magical realism, but it is the hyper realistic delivery of very domestic scenarios that impress."
"Fleet of foot, full of laughs and plenty of pathos, the play beats with the heart of a champion. Directed by Glynn Nicholas, this production is a get up and go show. Run to see it."
"Brown’s script is full of humour and anguish. It is directed by Glynn Nicholas, who has a sure touch with the comedy, and is adept at finding the moments where hope turns to despair and then back again."
"Glynn Nicholas creates many beautiful moments of theatrical tension through his staging, through his creation of a fifth vital character – the dog, Boy Named Sue, created purely through a very simple and effective mimed action which never outstays its welcome. Like Brown’s script, Nicholas directs with an eye for detail, for the reality of the circumstances, but also the warmth and humour that exists in the script. In another’s hands, The Dapto Chaser could have been a dog, but under the astute attention of Nicholas and his team, Apocalypse Theatre Company and Griffin Independent have backed a winner, and this hound is set for a long and healthy life."
THE SPELL OF WAKING HOURS
"Unhappy circumstances and poor choices abound then, but Brown wrings humour from every twist of the plot and the play glows in this well acted and thoroughly realised production directed by Glynn Nicholas. The all-important dog, Boy Named Sue, is made present through simple mime and panting noises from the actors. Like everything else in this production, it’s very effective."
EIGHT NIGHTS A WEEK
“Despite my foolish failings and my pathetic self-consciousness, The Dapto Chaser is one of those rare works that successfully captures the immediacy of the working poor, the urgency of life on the edge and the unglamorous reality of a “life sliding out of view.” The Dapto Chaser is yet another example of the remarkable depth, diversity and quality of theatre in Sydney.
Glynn Nicholas direction is mostly focussed on characterisation and it shows. The connection between the four men remains true to the narrative trajectory to such a degree that the brothers begin to look-alike as the play progresses.
The titular dog at the centre of this small complex universe is Boy Named Sue who is represented by a treadmill exercise and a cage at the back of the small stage, and made present through mime and panting dogs sounds performed by the cast. It works beautifully in depicting the deep bond shared by the brothers with their dog. At times it almost looks as though the dog trusts these men with its voice.
Mary Rachel Brown is in good hands with Glynn Nicholas, and the Apocalypse Theatre Company has put together a truly beautiful show the hallmark of which is the rich alluring language of the dog racing folk from the town of Dapto. It’s a piece of Australia we don’t get to see often enough on our stages, and one that provides a very enjoyable night at the theatre."
LISA THATCHER - SYDNEY
”WEST END 2008
THE TELEGRAPH “Eurobeat hits its target bang on… the most exuberantly enjoyable musical to have opened in the West End since Hairspray. As the sign outside the theatre promises: you'll laugh until the tears run down your legs.”
THE LONDON PAPER (5 stars) “Eurobeat ticks every Eurovision cliché going with sly asides and wit. Glittery, bitchy and hugely camp, Eurovision just got (genuinely) cool.”
CURTAIN UP LONDON “You do not have to be a Eurovision fan to appreciate this take on Europe’s most popular song contest - you just need a pocket full of tissues to wipe away the tears of laughter.”
MAIL ON SUNDAY (five stars) “…it takes camp to heights undreamt of.”
TOTALLY THEATRE “This show is brilliant …. This musical is hilarious. It’s a really fantastic, really fun homage to Eurovision. And it works.”
THE SUN “Eurobeat has hit written all over it – in several languages.”
VARIETY “Eurobeat is a hilarious spoof …brilliantly simple ….Rarely has audience participation been so effectively encouraged.”
DAILY EXPRESS “…..a joyous festival of innuendo, sight gags and musical mickey-taking.”
THE INDEPENDENT (five stars) “The energy levels rarely dip and I can't remember laughing this much (or ever making quite so much noise) in a theatre. My jaw was aching by the end of the second routine and by the time Ireland appeared with their hummable crowd-pleaser, I had joined the rest of the audience in a spontaneous bout of singalong flag-waving.”
THE TIMES “…well-honed, sharp-eyed and slickly performed…It brought tears to the eyes for all sorts of reasons…it’s a winner.”
WHAT'S ON STAGE.COM (four stars) “…spectacularly silly and enjoyable …. The whole show’s better, tackier and funnier than the real thing...who’d have thought it possible?”
GAYDAR NATION (four stars) “… inspired parody …surreal, silly and surprising, much like the contest itself…Eurobeat is fantastic, a different type of musical, a breath of fresh air….it’s glorious to see something totally new. Kudos to them.”
THE GUARDIAN “….hugely enjoyable and infectiously addictive.”
THE STAGE “…this is a show that surprises you at every turn..both the script and score are blessed with an infectious wit that makes this the most surprising, intentionally derivative and yet original new musical of the year so far….. its joyful perpetuation and celebration of nationalist clichés can’t possibly offend, because it is done with such knowing affection.”
BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE “Tasteless – of course it’s tasteless. That’s the point.”
QPAC – QUEENSLAND 2009
STAGE WHISPERS “Eurobeat is funny, frivolous, and fabulously over-the-top....it’s a great night in the theatre, and without a doubt, the funniest production of the year.”
ArtsHub.com.au “Is there enough time for the entire population to see this show, now playing at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC? Perhaps not, but prepare yourself, if you manage to purloin a ticket, for a night of singing, dancing, clackering, rewarding laughter and a respite from real life. Laugh? Yes, you will. Sing along? Yep. Audience participation hits a new level (one I am actually comfortable with for a change) and the pageantry alone is worth the trip. You’ve got to love waving a flag or two, and who doesn’t like to make a noise in a theatre? Couldn’t hear one cough, not a one, through all that boisterous energy!”
SCENE “The show gets you good from the moment you enter the theatre and by the time hosts Sergei and Boyka arrive, you’re ready to have as much fun as can be had this side of Sarajevo.....the best thing about Eurobeat however, is that it’s an experience designed to be shared. So grab your friends, family members and workmates and vote for one of the best musicals to come out of Australia in years"
AUSTRALIAN STAGE “Eurobeat is less a piece of musical theatre, more an immersive life experience. Resistance is entirely futile.”
RAVE MAGAZINE "In fact, the production values are so slick, one wonders if these skits are any more ridiculous than Eurovision Song Contest’s implausibly over-the-top entries year to yeaR… Quite a feat, really. Recommended for Eurovision enthusiasts everywhere – as well as those still seeking an explanation for the phenomenon."
ABC RADIO (5 stars) “...all the entire Eurobeat experience is one that really cannot be adequately described. You simply have to experience it for yourself. It is two and a half hours of theatrical and musical fun and mayhem and is - in the words of one lady sitting close to me on opening night - "one of the funniest things I have ever seen. There should be more theatre like this!”
SUNSHINE COAST DAILY “This is one musical that is unlike anything you have ever seen before. There is no underlying storyline to get you thinking. In fact, there is barely any story at all. Eurobeat is just completely gratuitous fun and, in these days of global financial crises, wars and terror, there is absolutely nothing wrong with complete unbridled giggling and plenty of flag waving.”
UK TOUR 2008
LITTLE HAMPTON GAZETTE “I'd heard it was brilliant but didn't quite know what to expect when I took my seat on July 28, with my badge telling me I was voting on behalf of Estonia.”
EVENING POST (NOTTINGHAM) “Noisy, brash, loud, colourful and that's just the audience Eurobeat sneaks up and grabs your funny bone when you least expect it.”
EVENING CHRONICLE (NEWCASTLE) “Eurobeat is a blast…as the crowd whips up a frenzy of excitement our hosts for the evening Boyka (Mel Giedroyc) and Sergei (Les Dennis) take to the stage to rapturous applause and anticipation. …this comedy musical is a must-see.”
NORWICH EVENING NEWS “This is a show which is not to be missed - its camp, its kitsch, and it’s a comic classic.”
BIRMINGHAM MAIL “This is the ultimate in audience participation!”
BIRMINGHAM POST “I quickly found myself being won over by Craig Christie and Andrew Patterson's brilliant spoof. But the ensemble of singers and dancers are the real stars as they whizz through beautifully crafted specimens of Euro-trash.”
THE ARGUS (BRADFORD) “It's a big douze points for Eurobeat, a hilariously affectionate spoof of the song contest we hate to love, and way more entertaining than the real thing… I haven't laughed so much in ages….this was a hugely feelgood show, featuring gloriously Eurotrashy acts. Terrific fun.”
ONE4REVIEW “This is a brilliantly observed and presented…several songs you just can’t get out of your head, superb choreography…this is an ideal night out for a great time whether you actually like the original or not.”
EVENING NEWS (5 stars) “This multi-cultural spoof is fantastically over the top and gloriously kitsch. The creators have taken everything that's bad about Eurovision and made it brilliant. A very, very long run at the West End is surely destined to follow.”
WHAT'S ON STAGE.COM (SALFORD) (4 stars) “….this show is a complete blast… it's worth seeing for the glorious Giedroyc alone. As for the so bad they are really good songs; 12 points!”
THE SENTINEL (STOKE) “Even more cheesy than the real thing (yes, it is possible)… It was great fun as a member of the audience to actually vote - but what a tough decision with so much talent. Eurobeat is a musical with a difference and a great night out.”
HEART FM “I laughed so loud I'm sure every corner of Europe heard!”
WESTERN MAIL (CARDIFF) “...a riot of glittering, camp tackiness – is so inspired, you wonder why no-one has ever thought of it before…. Eurobeat is one of those shows that has the potential to be a cult classic. If only the real Eurovision was as much fun.”
PRESS AND JOURNAL (ABERDEEN) “There are not too many shows which inspire north-east theatre goers to get on their collective feet and perform a whooping, screaming Mexican wave. But with Eurobeat it came as standard. And that was before the curtain went up for the official start of the performance.”
THE ARGUS (BRIGHTON) “It is a brilliantly silly celebration of everything the UK loves about the Eurovision Song Contest. … It is a perfect night out for a group of friends.”
WEST SUSSEX GAZETTE (BRIGHTON) “Introduced from the big screen by Euromeister Terry Wogan, the evening is one of the best nights out you are likely to get this side of an Abba reunion…. There wasn’t a single weak link among the exceptionally talented and attractive company… one of those rare treats – sheer entertainment, top quality performances, and something you are bound to want to see again and again. Go – feast on its delights!”
LATEST 7 (BRIGHTON) “If you enjoy a good night out you will love Eurobeat, the only show that I have ever seen that actively encourages you to leave your mobile phone turned on.”
MUSICAL STAGES (BRIGHTON) “The success of this show is hugely dependent upon the willingness of the audience to get involved and participate by waving flags, blowing horns and cheering their country of choice. The Brighton audience threw themselves into it full.”
EDINBURGH FESTIVAL 2007
THE TIMES (5 stars) “… a consistently amusing piece of musical mocker….with a spot-on new British cast, this gigantic tickle of an Australian import will almost certainly shift south of Edinburgh before too long. …instantly, wonderfully funny….the audience participation angle is played for all its worth…. at the performance I attended the crowd seemed to be on a manic high even before the house opened. The script is laden with broad but clever satire and withering innuendo. Between them, the show’s three choreographers have devised movement that is slick and camp. The songs, delivered by a versatile and tremendously spirited young cast, are hook-filled hoots.”
THE SCOTSMAN (4 stars) “THIS show is aptly named….Eurobeat does, with affection, charm, and lashings of camp… Eurobeat is a very silly show, perfect for a drunken night out, but it's also a deceptively clever one, equally enjoyable sober. Trusting its audience to get the joke, it is almost never more OTT than it needs to be.”
EVENING NEWS (5 stars) “Even Wogan himself can't disguise his love of Eurovision (telling the audience it's his pension) and how could you? What's not to love about it?” ...This multi-cultural spoof is fantastically over the top and gloriously kitsch. The creators have taken everything that's bad about Eurovision and made it brilliant. A very, very long run at the West End is surely destined to follow.”
THE HERALD “….the show plays out almost exactly like the real thing, but arguably with slicker performers and superior melodies. There's the obligatory baffling performance plus cheeky send-ups of Bjork, Abba and Kraftwerk. Terry Wogan even puts in a pre-recorded appearance…”
THE METRO (5 stars) ”Oh God – a musical tribute to Eurovision? Yep, predictably this noisy, rabble-rousing spectacle – ten songs, a recorded introduction by Wogan, ridiculous outfits, voting by mobile to finish – is about as camp as Graham Norton listening to Bucks Fizz in a camper van. Beyond all the catchy musical silliness, Christie and co-writer Andrew Patterson have given this show a sharp sense of humour and bags of personality. Eat your heart out, Scooch – this show's a winner.”
SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY ”…this Australian pastiche hits a perfect balance between send-up and celebration, making it as stupidly enjoyable as the real thing. It’s worth seeing simply to be part of the audience, who make a joyous racket even before the show begins. Songs, dialogue and costumes are brilliantly observed – and you get to vote!”
THE LIST (4 stars) ”There’s a palpable sense of excitement as badges are distributed, flags and clackers are sold and the cast do a warm up with the audience practising Mexican waves and the like. Our hosts for the evening are over-dressed, over made-up, over eager and adept at mixed metaphors - excellent… It cleverly pokes fun at the phenomenon that is Eurovision, not varying far from the actual show format (which is funny enough in the first place) this version pushes the jokes to their boundaries, exploiting those classic Eurovision stereotypes we all know and love. The obvious singing and dancing abilities of the cast are what make this take off work. It’s a unique experience and there’s more camp kitsch than you can shake your neon hot pants at.”
THREE WEEKS (5 stars) ”…endless fun in a fantastic, happy atmosphere….incredibly enjoyable and visually stunning, the memorable, satirical songs stick in the head so fast that I was not only singing along at the time - but humming for two days after. My face muscles ached from so much smiling, with unstoppable tears of laughter running down my face. Definitely a good way to relax after a hard day.”
THE GUARDIAN "After a hard day down the pit (other wise known as Traverse 2) what a girl needs is a bit of trash theatre, and Eurobeat - Almost Eurovision at Pleasance Grand hits the spot. I reckon it's going to be one of the mega hits of the fringe…Eurobeat is already packing them in and audiences are having a ball. …Several of the songs are actually much better than real Eurovision entries and the lyrics are often a clever mix of innocence and innuendo."
ESC TODAY ”The gathered crowd outside Edinburgh's Pleasance Grand were already buzzing with excitement as attendants handed out flags, hand clappers and badges to designate the country's delegation each audience member belonged to. There was a merry atmosphere amongst the packed crowd, and the auditorium was filled to the brim with punters, both Eurovision fans and non-fans alike…. the music is by no means lightweight, with ten catchy plays on musical stereotypes …they score and lyrics are the source of much laughter throughout, with cheesey dance routines and visual gags carrying them off nicely. The audience were well behind every one of the entries, each song receiving crazed cheering and rattling of hand clappers; an actual winner would be hard to decide! As the lights came up, huge smiles still stuck to the faces of the audience said it all - the show provides ninety minutes of pure fun and laughter, for both enthusiasts of the contest and the layman on the street alike.”
THE NATIONAL STUDENT (5 stars) ”Welcomed in his characteristic wry quality by Sir Terry of Wogan himself, this wonderful addition to the authenticity of the piece makes an audibly welcome launch to the silliness. Before long we are transported live to Sarajevo and welcomed by our hosts for the evening. The costumes and choreography are brimming with kitsch delight meaning that there is plenty of whooping and wailing to be had by all. The performance is packed to burst with sight gags and Eurovision references, lovingly sprinkled with a hefty dollop of wardrobe malfunctions and technical hiccups. I have been known to screech with amusement from time to time, but this show caused me to use up over a months worth of high-pitched outbursts in a mere 90 minutes… Gather your party, ply yourselves with alcohol, and prepare to caterwaul at this calamitous triumph. This is an absolutely fabulous night out.”
BROADWAY BABY (5 stars) “There's something of an impressive atmosphere even as you queue for Eurobeat….. It's impressive how they manage to maintain the energy in the crowd. There's a real sense of being at Eurovision itself. We're in Slovakia, and it's down to the ten finalists at the Eurovision Song Contest. Terry Wogan himself introduces the show, via video link… it's all very kitsch, and slickly played. There's obviously a very professional team at work here… Eurovision fans will love the show for its authenticity. Those that abhor Eurovision will love the parody. It's brilliantly scripted, incredibly camp and stunningly well executed…”
ONE4REVIEW (5 stars) “The fun and games start in the queue as badges for the 10 competing countries are handed out and national flags and clackers are on sale. The frivolity is up and running….I must congratulate the team behind this show for staging this fun packed tongue in cheek, yet totally professional and delightfully staged show that has had people attending in droves. I am only allowed to give a maximum of 5 stars per show, ‘cause I’d be sorely tempted to give it 6 if I could.”
ONSTAGE SCOTLAND.CO.UK “Every year the Fringe has at least one big, energetic, late night show that packs them in and promises its audience a good night out. It doesn't always deliver on that promise but this year's certainly does. This Australian treat has cult status written all over it. High art or serious theatre this is most certainly not. Late night entertainment for an enthusiastic, cheering, whooping audience it certainly is. It's one of those rare shows that actually delivers more than it promises.”
REUTERS “Eurobeat - almost Eurovision mercilessly sends up the kitsch contest every night at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where flag-waving, wolf-whistling fans take audience participation to new heights of surreal lunacy.”
AUSTRALIA TOUR 2006
VARIETY “Destined to become this year's major Australian cult musical, "Eurobeat" dazzles with kitschy brilliance and beguiles with its spoofy, all-embracing multicultural humor. With its sweetly naive take on national stereotypes, "Eurobeat" is an epically delirious hoot, equally engaging for those unfamiliar with the subject it's lampooning and for those merrily in the know.”
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD “Celebration of kitsch is a wicked delight. Eurobeat is immense, well-observed fun...tight yet authentically over the top dance and comedy routines that rival the real thing…costume, lighting, set and sound design are all spot-on and the multi-tasking cast are excellent”
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (SYDNEY) “…simply sensational…they are having an absolute ball, as will you… It’s a winner, no contest.”
THE AUSTRALIAN “Irresistiblysilly lampoon if a universe beyond parody …funny, clever… priceless”
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN “the ultimate interactivetheatrical experience….overwhelmingly entertaining…. if the capacity audience’s response on opening night was any indication, it looks like Eurobeatis set to achieve cult status in its own right.”
SUNDAY TIMES (PERTH) "… classier, better produced and brimming with more talented performers than the original... did I mention funny?...just like everything else about this spoof the comedy was outrageous and exquisite....impeccably scripted...enthusiastically performed by this slick ensemble...Eurobeat will have you in tears from start to finish and you can buy the CD, so you need never wipe the smile off your face."
ADVERTISER (ADELAIDE) "Finally, all the fun and excitement of the Eurovision Song Contest reaches Australia with an inspired parody which frequently surpasses the quality of the real thing…it is arguably the first interactive musical as audience members are assigned nationalities, compelled to wave flags…it is impossible to tell who are the real stars of the show: The hilarious hosts, the superb singers, the dazzling comic choreography or the outrageous songs themselves….the real winners were the audience…truly a treat”
RIP IT UP MAGAZINE “Seriously Kids - if I had the budget I would go and see this show every single night of it's Adelaide run and then hock the house and head to Perth for the season there. I just got home from the opening night of this marvelous musical comedy and my face is aching from laughing, smiling and singing so much. …the show is so funny, engaging and cleverly put together that you don't even need to be a Eurovision fan to enjoy it. It is the most fun I have had at a theatre show in years. EUROBEAT is an absolute triumph. Trust me you will LOVE IT!”
THE AGE (MELBOURNE) “…a deliciously farcical tribute that will have you in stitches….the cream of our musical theatre talent…EUROBEAT is a night of outrageously funny musical entertainment”
HERALD SUN (MELBOURNE) “…there is no escaping the utterly hilarious and cringe-worthy extravaganza that is EUROBEAT” ”It is difficult to parody an event that is already so over-the-top absurd but Eurobeat does it with panache – and lots of lycra…. But it is the songs that make our little Eurovision fans’ hearts tremble with delight. Go see Eurobeat. It is a hoot.”
BEAT MAGAZINE (MELBOURNE) “Eurobeat is a dazzling tribute to the weird and wonderful Eurovision Song Contest…an absolute blast and will amuse anyone with a serious appreciation for the endlessly shallow world of pop culture”
ADELAIDE THEATRE GUIDE “Even if you have never seen a Eurovision Song Contest you will get no better introduction to the contest that unites Europe as perhaps nothing else can, not even the World Cup! Either way, Eurovision will never seem the same again”