Alas the Eurovision Song Contest will never be the same again. It has been eclipsed by a cacophony of clackers, kazoos/whistles and raucous laughter emanating from an audience who at times were totally out of control - and understandably so.
It might have been thought that Neston Players after their significant triumph last year with 'A Few Good Men' would have found it difficult to replicate their success but in that immortal phrase from Monty Python, "and now for something entirely different," they have confounded the sceptics.
I have often thought that they could make a film of the televised Eurovision Song Contest and call it 'The Good, the Bad and the Indifferent'; more a spaghetti question than a western; the question being why do they bother? If the real thing was as entertaining as this show was I could be persuaded to change my mind.
Brilliantly hosted by Boyka (Tia Gill) and Sergi (Michael Kennedy) will he ever live down those hot pants?; the rapport which they engendered between them was superb; sparkling repartee some of which I suspect did not come from the written script and comedy timing which would have the envy of many an aspiring stand-up comic.
Ten countries were on view here all portrayed in national characteristic by a fine cast. Costumed appropriately as they were they might well have been the real thing. All the costumes were excellent but Miss Iceland certainly caught the eye and that wig! Brilliant. Many congratulation to Wardrobe. Of course costuming along can't produce the total effect and Director Paul Kirkbright and Choreographer Lucy Kirkbright with their assistants Simon Deere and Bethany D'Avincourt Smith and Musical Supervisor Rob Bownessbrought out the essence of the various locations with great skill. The movement during the songs was exactly right in the context of this 'Almost Eurovision'.
When the audience came in they were all given a sticker with their 'own' country on it as well as their clacker and whistle thus ensuring their noisy participation for their own country. They also had the chance to vote during the intermission following which we had the voting from the 10 areas involved and wasn't this well done. How true the portrayal of the various nation's hosts, the kicker seeing the reaction of the host presenters. If it is anything off camera like what we enjoyed then TV should definetly show it. Boyka, fancy sitting down when the Irish Lady was meandering on, really! To cut a long storry short the initial vote on screen found all countries with 15 points. Yes even the UK . Then came the audience vote and who won ? Well it was a country who didn't even sing but who gave a singularly fine moving performance? GERMANY. We didn't see their faces either since they were dressed in a one piece suit from head to toe. I don't know who won on the other nights but any one of them could have done so and have been worth it.
Budge Grounsell, NODA Regional Representative, May 2013
BOYKA Tia Gill
SERGEI Michael Kennedy
ITALY Joanne Poston, Matthew Harvey, Steve Morse
POLAND Nick Hawkswell, Greg Jones, Jason Jump
ICELAND Wendy Newton, Carole Goodwin, Cheryl Barker, Laura Pulling, Jenny Rae
UK Nicola Routledge, Matthew Harvey
RUSSIA Greg Jones, Jason Jump, Jorden Henshaw, Nick Hawkswell, Steve Morse
HUNGARY Amy Duggan, Barbara Campbell, Cheryl Barker, Cressida Yorke, Laura Pulling, Louise Irvine, Irene Pugh
IRELAND Andrew Culshaw
GREECE Emily Walmsley, Nicola Routledge, Chrinstine Anyon, Carole Goodwin
GERMANY Steve Morse, Gordon Wallis, Jenny Rae
SWEDEN Joanne Poston, Eleanor Hillman, Nick Hawkswell, Greg Jones
ITALY JUDGE Cheryl Barker
POLAND JUDGE Alan Binns
ICELAND JUDGE Christine Anyon
UK JUDGE Martin Riley
RUSSIA JUDGE Gordon Wallis
HUNGARY JUDGE Louise Irvine
IRELAND JUDGE Irene Pugh
GREECE JUDGE Eleanor Hillman
GERMANY JUDGE Roger Cottrell, Jan Myers
SWEDEN JUDGE Barbara Campbell
FLAG BEARERS Amy Duggan, Jason Jump, Christine Anyon, Jordan Henshaw, Laura Pulling, Emily Walmsley,
Eleanor Hillman, Barbara Campbell, Cheryl Barker, Nicola Routledge, Cressida Yorke.
WARM UP ACTS Wendy Newton, Jenny Rae, Carole Goodwin, Gordon Wallis, Greg Jones.
8th - 11th May 2013
Tia Gill - Best Female Performance in a Comedy - WON
Michael Kennedy - Best Male Performance in a Comedy - NOMINATED