By Amy Toledano
West End Eurovision 2019 didn’t spare a speck of glitter or pulse of pink light for their ninth year at the Adelphi Theatre. Hosted by the sharp-witted Richard Guantlett, the evening brought together casts from some of the most popular West End shows, and battled it out in a Eurovision extravaganza.
They worked with wonderful charity Theatre Mad to raise money for awareness, prevention, plus care and support of people with HIV and Aids. Hearing from Melanie Tranter, the co-founder and chair of the Theatre Mad Trust, made the importance of this event clear, and highlighted the amount of incredible work they do for people fighting this disease, as well as the work they do overseas.
The celebrity judges for the evening’s proceedings included Love Island winner and current star of the 9 to 5 musical Amber Davies, and presenter and television personality Tim Vincent. They were joined by dance and stage legends Wayne Sleep OBE and Bonnie Langford.
Favourites of the evening included the cast of Follies from The National Theatre with their classy version on “L’oiseau et L’enfant”, a 1977 first-place winner, along with last year’s champions from The Phantom Of The Opera, performing the epic and (costume) revealing “Grande Amore”.
Taking home the Judges Choice Award was the cast of Wicked with their brilliantly choreographed piece from the Ukraine “Wild Dances”, and the Ident Award was taken out by the immensely talented cast of Everybody Is Talking About Jamie. This year also brought with it a brand new award for Best Costume and Set Design, or the ”Outstanding Gorgeousness” Award.
Guest performances came from this year’s Eurovision representative, Hartlepool local Michael Rice. He wowed us with the powerful ballad “Bigger Than Us”. A very happy audience also delighted at cult sensation Dana International as she performed her famous number “Diva”, that won her first place in Eurovision Birmingham 1998.
Although the judges and audience gushed and whooped over all the brilliant casts and their performances, last year’s champions Phantom of The Opera took out both the costume award and the Eurovision 2019 trophy itself. Winning over the cast judges as well as audience votes, their got to perform their number one more time to a very receptive room.
The Play’s the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play’s the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon.