Eugenius! was performed at the London Palladium.
Rating: three stars ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
A rare phenomenon in the West End, a brand new musical not based on a movie or play nor a famous group’s catalogue of songs, Eugenius! was a one-night only concert of a new show three years in the making.
Despite a top-notch West End cast and an energetic chorus of dancers, the show’s book (including an overlong Act II) needs some major cutting and overhauling if it should have a West End future.
Aiming primarily at geeks and Star Wars fans, drawn by the presence of producer and actor Warwick Davis, Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins’ story frequently moves between the first and second rate, while the score (also by Adams and Wilkins) clearly has potential.
But the main asset of this concert, aside from the dynamic and inventive choreography from Aaron Renfree and Nick Winston, was the stellar cast, beginning with the vocally strong Louis Maskell (fresh from new musical Flowers for Mrs Harris in Sheffield) in the title role.
In addition, there was the always excellent Amy Lennox (absent from her starring role in Kinky Boots just for the night) as his love interest, and the fine West End regular Daniel Buckley, recently seen in Three Little Pigs, as Feris.
Of course Davis as Evil Lord Hector was the main box office draw and he emerged as a capable song and dance man for the occasion.
In supporting parts, the showstoppers were the talented Samuel Holmes, who has just finished Mrs Henderson Presents; a better than ever David Bedella, currently appearing in In The Heights; and the wonderful Summer Strallen, offering a hilarious portrayal of Carrie.
We cannot but encourage the whole team, especially the two directors, Ian Talbot and Michael Jibson. As it stands, though, this is a work in progress. Its parts at this point are greater than the whole.