Masters of Choreography: Beats on Pointe – REVIEW

Masters of Choreography: Beats on Pointe 

Peacock Theatre, London

★★★

Masters of Choreography: Beats on Pointe

Peacock Theatre, London

 

Seen on February 20th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★

I wanted to love this show so much due to its unique collaboration of two drastically different dance styles.

Beats on Pointe is the creation of Masters of Choreography which has been very successful in Australia and now pirouetting its way over to London. This dance show brings street dance and ballet to the same stage to demonstrate how dance styles worlds apart can be brought into the same space.

I was very excited reading about this show and believed that it would have great potential. However these initial thoughts were soon put away once the show had begun.I didn’t hate the show. I thought that the majority of the dancing was beautiful and it was very nice to watch but I did want to see more ballet. I’m a sucker for a bit of ballet! Especially pointe work.

I didn’t like the comedy sketches thrown in between. I appreciate that the dancers need a break in between energetic numbers but there are ways to do it. A bit of well written comedy here and there is greatly welcomed however a lot of this was bordering on the type of material that you would see at a holiday village like Butlins. It was rather cringeworthy.

A lot of stories were presented through different numbers, some less obvious than others with some really in your face. There were a few which felt incredibly cheesy, the old couple, and I personally found that detracted from the enjoyment of the dancing.

The first act didn’t really seem to have a direction. There was no real story moving from dance to dance. Actually, the whole show didn’t really have an overall story. Well, not one that I could see. Act one consisted of a lot of the cheesy audience participation i. e. “How are you doing tonight, London?” and then there was this one section I wish I could have heard more of. The section, which I shall title the “stomp inspired section” was beautiful! I could hear all the beats they were making however I feel amplifying that sound would have really benefited and made it consistent with the rest of the music. Everything else was very loud and then all of the sudden it went very quiet. It would have been great to have those beats ripping through the theatre!

A few of the other elements thrown into act one seemed redundant. I can’t fault the talent from the drummer and singer but it didn’t fit in with the rest of the show. Evidently just a filler.

Something which was bugging me throughout the show was the timings. Timing is key in dance and there were a few of the female dancers who seemed to be a beat behind the others in a lot of the routines. Although in the much faster, street dance sections the timing was there and everything was so incredibly precise!

It was rather nice how they experimented with the use of lights within the costume. This produced a very nice effect on stage.

The second act got a lot better and lost all the unneeded comedy which was nice. My only criticism of the second act (along with the timing which occurred throughout the show) was how rushed it felt. There were no real pauses in between the dances or any scene/sound transitions. As soon as one group finished performing the next ran straight out.

The majority of it was great to watch and of which I really enjoyed. If they removed all the ‘cheese’ I would probably go back to see it. I really appreciate the amount of work those dancers put into that show every single night. Its just a shame that it hasn’t found the way to utilise all of its potential.

Beats on point is running until February 24th at the Peacock theatre.

For more information about the show and for tickets, head to: https://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2018/masters-of-choreography-beats-on-pointe/

Eugenius! – REVIEW

Eugenius!

The Other Palace, London

★★★★

Eugenius!

The Other Palace, London

 

Seen on January 31st, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★

Eugenius has returned to London after a stellar run last year at the London Palladium. This time it has taken up residence in the much smaller venue, The Other Palace. Complete 80s pop culture over-load, Eugene (Liam Forde) is a teenager. More importantly a geek ridiculed by the world. His world. High school. His safety being the creation of comic book superheroes. From a small hobby, Eugene is shot straight to Hollywood as his idea takes off but reveals struggles along the way maintaining the art and true friendships. Sometimes the fictional world can be a lot realer than it seems.

It was such a fun show to watch! Everything about it had energy. It’s not the best thing that I have seen but I can understand why so many people love it. The majority of the music is incredibly catchy with a variety of different music styles from 80s pop to the standard love ballads to more comical numbers. I have to be completely honest and say that the closing number has been stuck in my head since I left the theatre. “GO EUGENIUS!! Go Eugene!” The whole soundtrack was very upbeat and enjoyable but I don’t feel it would be a soundtrack that I would be able to listen to fully outside of the show. The odd feel-good songs have now been added to my ‘morning motivation’ playlist. The rest would be enjoyed if I saw the show again.

I rather enjoyed the choreography although I found that it lost its full potential due to the stage size. This production would suit a larger stage. It all just felt a tad crowded but they made what they had work.

The script for certain characters was great, especially for Ferris (Daniel Buckley). I did not expect half the things he said which made it so much funnier. The rest of it was rather mediocre and I did find myself willing the next number to start. None of it was irrelevant, just a little slow.

I don’t like doing this part simply because the whole cast were great, we have a standout performer – Laura Baldwin (Janey) was fabulous. He voice is so petite yet so very powerful and she really got to demonstrate that. I spent so long trying to work out what I’d seen her in before. It turns out it was ‘Little Beasts‘! She presented such a caring glow about Janey which was lovely to watch.

It was wonderful seeing all the characters so drastically different! A camp Hollywood talent scout (Theo, Scott Paige). A guy who has to be at the top of the food chain with everybody  kissing his ass (Lex, Cameron Blackely). Somebody born to flaunt her ‘assets’ (Carrie, Melissa James). With the exception of a chameleon of ensemble members (Alison Arnopp, Jacob Fisher, Alex Tranter, Luke Dowling, Frances Dee, Chloe chambers and Rosie Heath)

Overall, I really enjoyed the evening however I can’t help but feel something was missing. I can’t quite put my finger on it. It was missing its wow factor. Despite this, Eugenius is definitely a show to bring back nostalgia for people who grew up in that decade with hilarious references! However people not of that generation will also understand the vast majority of the references too! It will be enjoyed by all (12+)

You can find Eugenius at The Other Palace until March 3rd. For more information on the show and tickets please visit https://www.theotherpalace.co.uk/whats-on/eugenius

#GOEUGENIUS