Eurobeat Moldova – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Pleasance Courtyard

2016EUROBEA_PLEurobeat Moldova continues at the Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) until 29 August.

Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩

Camp as a row of flagged tents, Eurobeat has updated itself for this contest in Moldova. Upgrading from the badges depicting countries, we are invited to take a flag to wave (the flag becomes your ‘home country’). Lee Latchford-Evans (formerly from Steps) makes the introductions in his unique ‘ho-cost’ persona – Nikolai (winner of ‘Moldova’s Got Talent’ – three times!) His partner in crime is played by Rula Lenska – glamorous as ever – and pining for the days of the KGB.

Each country is represented with a wonderful pastiche of typical Eurovision entries – highlights include the identical twins representing Ireland, rejoicing in the name ‘Effing!’. Probably the most un-identical twins on earth. Craig Christie and Andrew Patterson relish the stereotypes and ‘Oooh, matron’ humour delivered in the lyrics and music.

A new country to Eurobeat is The Vatican – ‘get down and jiggy-jiggy’ – hugely enjoyable and the Vatican flag was clearly the most popular in the room.

This has sky-high production values: costume design by Annie Gosney, in particular, is outstanding. It may be that the high polish is partly why the audience could almost feel cut-out at times. Given the production values and use of projections, I would love to see shots of the crowd/audience live on screen to add to the atmosphere.

The interval text vote supports Waverley Care Trust and The Dickens Legacy, but have pen and paper ready as the number is up for a very short time!

Poland won the night I went – performed by a balladeer (Oscar Balmaseda) who seems a cross between Christopher Lee and Captain Hook. Delightfully awful!

Fiona Orr

Beckman Unicorn and Pleasance

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