14 August 2007

Carry On Camping!

Eurobeat - Almost Eurovision, Plesance

The word-of-mouth hit of the Fringe, as 10 countries compete for the audience's text votes in a mini-Eurovision Song Contest that is so keenly observed and executed that it is far more appealing than the real thing has been for many years. The pairing of type of song or performer to country is excellent - tradition giving way to Europop for the Mediterranean countries, veiled homo-eroticism for the former Soviet Bloc and Balkans, experimental ism from Germany and teary-eyed ballads from the Irish.
The performances are energetic and only the occasional obviously "played for laughs" moments jar with the affectionate parodies. The interval act - all ridiculous metaphors and Young Generation costumes and routines - convinced me that the producers should be let loose on the real thing as soon as possible.
Several of the songs were actually rather good but a couple outstayed their welcome and enforcement of the real-life 3 minute limit could have tightened the show considerably. A couple of missed opportunities also blighted the show, the Abba parody wasn't up to much and surely Greece should have tried to give maximum points to (non-competing) Cyprus. The size and scale of the show meant that it wasn't what I'd consider to be a fringe show but it was enormous fun and would be ideal for girls-nights-out or any group who can find it within themselves to embrace the campery. If you've ever chuckled along to the diggy-loos and diggy-lays of the real thing, you'll have a ball at Eurobeat.

NTW : A shame they couldn't have given the UK a Brotherhood of Man/Bucks Fizz style pop masterpiece rather than an overblown Gemini-style ballad.

JTD : The enforced partisanship - if you want to win, opt for Italy, Estonia or Ireland - although I would love to be there on a night when the German krautrock spectacular gets to perform a triumphant encore.

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