Review: The Eurobeat Goes On MMCP

And The Eurobeat Goes On
Mackay Musical Comedy Players
December 2018
Magpies Sporting Club

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Last night I got to attend the final performance of the Mackay Musical Comedy Players production: And The Eurobeat Goes On, and I walked away not only impressed, but also with a sore face from laughing so much. I’ve been to and in a lot of MMCP’s theatre restaurants in the past so I thought I knew what to expect, but Eurobeat had a format unlike any of the others and because they were in a new venue with a cast that was very different from their typical theatre restaurant line up, it felt like a whole new experience entirely.

Modeled off the Eurovision song contests, Eurobeat is a competition showing several performances from people representing different European countries performing for audience votes via an app. As talented as Eurovision performers always are, there are always those one or two acts that are completely off the wall in the hokey, Japanese Gameshow sense and Eurobeat is almost completely filled with these kind of obscure performances that are delivered with wild, glitzy costumes and crazy back up dancers. I knew that the format of the show was going to be something like that, but I had no idea that the songs featured were going to be random originals written to suit the theme and some of the lyrics had me in absolute stitches, as did the accompanying choreography. The singers featured all have lovely voices under normal circumstances, but musicality was clearly at the bottom of the priority list for this one and I just laughed and laughed as these seasoned performers quite literally let it go for the sake of characterization so that they could screech, swoon and ‘schalp’ their way through these hilarious routines that presented as parodies of Bjork, Daft Punk and Abba. Obviously there were some lovely solos, (I think everyone collectively heaved a sigh of relief during Marina Duncan, Sue Dalton and Josh Duncan’s numbers) but the entire production was about entertainment and that was what we got.

Every single performance had something incredibly special to offer, but the highlights for me personally were Vianne Conroy representing Iceland (who went on to win last night, much to my delight) Andrew Deguara singing about beer while representing a jolly German, and the keyboard number from Lichtenstein that didn’t have any singing at all- simply featuring a handful of futuristic characters ‘playing’ the keyboards, swinging cats for special effects and somehow maintaining straight faces all the while. I was almost on the floor laughing during the song from Reyn and Shein from the UK due to the hilarious filmclip that played behind them and I don’t know if that was in the script or something that was made up for the production but it was absolutely brilliant and the perfect parody of any lovey-dovey filmclip there’s ever been.

But I have to say, as glittery and blinding as the entire production was, it was the stunning performance of Vicky Bobeldyk who played Boyka, the hostess from Bosnia that really made my night. You hear the words ‘Triple Threat’ get thrown around a lot in this business but Vicky is a quintet threat because on top of her mad skills as a singer, dancer and an actress, she is strikingly beautiful and a talented director herself, so she always throws 150% of herself into whatever it is she’s involved in. Vicky had the only dialogue in the show, and quick changed from one flamboyant outfit to another between acts so that she could introduce each new entrant with aplomb. Her accent and characterization was dead on and there wasn’t a single person in the audience that could take their eyes off her- which is saying a lot because sometimes the glare coming off her outfit in the spotlight was borderline painful.

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It was an absolutely glittering spectacle from start to finish, delivered flawlessly thanks to the amazing production team including Tonia Beckman, Elaine Power and Tim Philips and they and the whole cast deserved the thunderous applause they got, especilly for the set and stage layout which was again, atypical o anything the MMCP usually does. The backdrops were all technical- a montage of lights and montages set off with just one roaming stage light and it gave the whole show a genuine telescast feeling.

Well done to all involved, because that was an amazing start to the Mackay Musical Comedy Players 2018 season. Make sure you keep your eye out for tickets to Rock Of Ages in May, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (which will be directed by Vicky Bobeldyk) next year! #mmcp

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