So, last night was West End Eurovision, this year held at the Dominion Theatre, and, for the first time, the event was also streamed live online – which was great for me, as I’ve had an amazing time in years gone past, and had been gutted to know that I was going to miss it this year, what with the move and such!
Unfortunately, I think that the evening is going to be remembered in the main for being marred by technical problems, both on stage and online (I’m not going to comment on those, short of saying that we can see where the tech team from the Oliviers went for their next gig ;)), however, they managed to battle through and ultimately pull off a fun evening, even if it did all descend in to chaos a bit around the 02:30 mark (yes, dear reader, I stayed up THAT late watching to provide you this blog post – I am SUCH a trooper, ha!).
Sweeney Todd were very much the deserved winners this year – not only for picking the awesome Michael Ball entry from 1992 (One Step Out Of Time) – one of Eurovision’s finest! – but for the leading man himself actually taking to the stage to perform it!!! Understandably, principals don’t tend to grace the stage of West End Eurovision perhaps as often as the audience may like, but with a grueling theatre schedule coupled with the late hour of the show, it’s definitely forgivable. However, Michael and Imelda coming out to show their support for West End Eurovision was AWESOME and made the night!!
(… and yes, that is Lucy May Barker’s ‘boob moment’ at 1 minute 40, haha, bless her!)
Also of note were the once-again delightful The 39 Steps crowd, who once again very faithfully reproduced Boom Boom Boomerang (by Austrian group ‘Schmetterlinge’ for the 1978 contest) right the way down to the sets and costumes, and provided a massive amount of hilarity on the night. Were it not for Bally appearing on the Sweeney entry, they should have won it, hands down! A travesty, as last year! (I am still humming Pom Pom a year on!).
Rock of Ages managed to capture my enthusiasm for pirates and half-naked men with their version of Wolves of the Sea (Latvia, 2008), so they definitely deserve a mention here for their entry:
… and Billy Elliot’s Shir Habatlanim (Israel 1987) was just a bit trippy at around 1am on a Friday morning – but masses of fun nevertheless!
The best video ident award went to Les Misérables:
In summation, West End Eurovision was, as ever, a fantastic night for those people who live, breathe and work musical theatre/the West End, despite all the technical glitches, drunken presenters screaming swear words at the audience – yes, you, John Partridge – and that odd performance from Javyne Hilton (which I’m told really nearly did burn the place down).
To be absolutely fair, none of these factors have really dogged the production in previous years, plus it was great to see it put online this year! I am sure that everyone appreciates that it’s a lot of hard-work for the people involved – ultimately all to benefit a great Charity – and therefore it’s easy to forgive and forget, and I do very much look forward to its hopeful return in 2013! 🙂
NB – Thank you to whomever the person is who has uploaded these to YouTube (and did so last year too!) – all performances can be viewed on their channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/flashyphotos