Our January guest blogger Ben Adams has written the music and lyrics to a brand new musical called EUGENIUS! together with his good friend Chris Wilkins who has written the book. The musical is premiering at The Other Palace in London Victoria on the 22nd of Jan and will be running until the 3rd of March. The show is produced by Kevin and George Wood, together with Hollywood star Warwick Davis best known for his parts in movies like Star Wars and Harry Potter!
EUGENIUS! is currently in rehearsals, where Chris and Ben’s ideas are being brought to life by a very talented team of creatives who are absolutely phenomenal, and have graced the west end stage with some of the biggest musicals around-Book Of Mormon, Les Miserables, Wicked-you name it they´ve done it! The show is heavily inspired by 80s pop culture and the music is full of synths, keytars, epic drums and dramatic key changes - so it's definitely bound to be a feel good show with lots of catchy tunes!
As the show is opening very soon, we thought it would be a great idea to get some inside information about how the musical came about and have a Q&A with Ben which you can find at the end of this post.
A BRAND NEW MUSICAL WITH ORIGINAL MUSIC
London is full of musicals, a highlight for many tourists visiting our vibrant city. But it's not often you see brand new musicals with original music on the West End stage. Most musicals in London at the moment are reruns of existing musicals, new musicals but based on movies, or jukebox musicals like Mamma Mia and Thriller, written around existing pop songs.
it’s of course great to watch musicals you already know and love, but isn’t it also quite exciting to see something brand new? To get the chance to say ‘I saw that musical the very first time it was shown on stage’. So instead of watching Phantom of The Opera for the 10th time whilst in London, why not try out something new – like EUGENIUS! :)
And to make you more familiar with this musical, you can further down in this post read about the making of EUGENIUS! And find out more about the journey from the first song being created in Ben’s kitchen, to it now premiering on a renowned London theatre - Andrew Lloyd Webbers no less!
You can hear some of the music from EUGENIUS! on Spotify and iTunes if you want to get familiar with the songs before seeing the show - and there are more coming soon!
Our Sara is even featured on the album as she sings the chorus on a song called ‘Who’s That Guy’ as well as doing the backing vocals on the majority of the tracks. Our guest blogger Ben is the voice of the main character Eugene, a character that will be played by the very talented Liam Forde at The Other Palace. Dan Buckley is also featured on the album, who plays the part of Eugenes best friend, Feris, a hilarious and charming character that the audience is bound to fall in love with.
The whole album will be released in just a few days! So watch this space :)
FROM JUST AN IDEA TO A RUNNING WEST END SHOW
How did it all start?
Oddly it all started at a pub in Clapham where a long over due catch up lead to a very drunken attempt at creating a song for a musical around my piano until the early hours of the morning. Unlike most drunken creations, the song TOUGH MAN turned out to be rather good and still remains the opening number for the whole show!
Why is it called EUGENIUS! ?
Well, the main character is called Eugene and in a brainstorming meeting for ideas, I jokingly blurted it out and it kinda stuck! It seemed to sum up what the show was about.
Has it been a long process from your starting writing this show to it premiering on stage?
It´s been many years in the making. When we began I don´t think we realised just how much work goes into writing a musical. 50 songs later, hundreds of tweaks, workshops, edits and rewrites, we have come up with something we are really proud of and we believe its stands alongside the best musicals out there, so it´s been worth it! We get goosebumps many times a day watching it come to life - a bit like Christmas over and over again!
Has the show changed a lot from the first draft to the show we will see on stage at The Other Palace in a few weeks time?
It has changed quite a fair bit yes. Much more concise and effective - even from the Palladium performance. Sometimes losing songs from a show can feel like losing a leg for a writer, but when it´s replaced with something even better that helps drive the story, you know its all been worth it. In fact the last 2 songs written for the show happen to be my favourites! It´s funny, the only time you really know what works is when you put it in front of an audience - the Palladium was an amazing success but definitely highlighted things that needed attention. But that´s what it was for - it was a very elaborate and risky 'workshop', but it paid off!
What has been your favourite part of this whole process?
Just seeing it come to life, and watching the look on peoples faces when they experience the show. From the actors, to the audience members, to people walking past the rehearsal room trying to find out what on earth is going on behind closed doors. For me, going to a musical is an opportunity to switch off from the outside world and be taken on a journey, coming out feeling differently than when you went in. It can and should be an enlightening experience - if you are anything like me, you will be swept away with the actors in EUGENIUS! and taken on a ride you wont forget.
What is your favourite song in the show?
Thats a hard one - I love them all, otherwise they wouldn't have made the cut. Each song is as important as each other.........But I do have a soft spot for "Don't Shoot For The Stars" and "The Future is Bright".
Why should people come and watch EUGENIUS!?
Because it's out of this world......