Performer Tyran Parke admits he has a hard time explaining to friends just what the show Eurobeat is all about.
Whenever I say to people Eurobeat is a piss-take on the Eurovision Song Contest they look at me strangely and respond, -˜But Eurovision is a piss-take in the first place,’ he says.
And they’re right. So that should give an idea of what this show is like. It is camp. Actually, make that very, very camp.
Eurobeat is a new show from local songwriters Craig Christie and Andrew Patterson, which sets out to bring the high-camp hilarity of the notoriously outrageous Eurovision Song Contest to the stage.
In the show, which bills itself as an interactive musical, performers play singers from 12 European countries who battle it out with a range of song and production numbers.
The audience then becomes the judging panel and votes for a winner.
Tyran takes on the role of Estonian singer Jirka who performs with the group, The Stone Hard Boys.
They perform the song Together Again, with lyrics littered with innuendos about gay sex, as back-up dancers strip down to barely-there costumes.
Jirka is an Estonian lad, but he is singing in English as he wants to cross-over to the American charts with this song, Parke explains. But he really has no idea of what he is singing about.
There is a strong gay element to his number, which he performs as the boys have a number of wardrobe malfunctions. There are lots of references to -˜pulling together’, -˜pulling hard’ and -˜coming together at last’. Everything you need is in the lyrics to this song, he laughs.
Eurobeat has been playing to cult audiences since it premiered in a club show version in Melbourne three years ago. A full-scale new production opens at the State Theatre on 8 September.
For Parke, performing at the State Theatre is like something of a homecoming. While he has performed with such big-scale musicals as Oliver! and The Sound Of Music, it is when he is between performing gigs that he returns to the iconic theatre in the role of front of house manager.
He can also be found in the building’s basement level as a manager of the cabaret room, the Statement Bar.
I really love this building, he smiles. And I am really thrilled to be doing this show here. I performed at the State in the Raise The Roof Tsunami benefit concert, but it will be good to do a whole show in here.
I have already put the word out to many of the ushers that during Eurobeat when they are collecting the votes from the audience, I will expect Estonia to win some nights. So far, I have won once, so I am now looking to build on that.
The finale production number is all glitter and fireworks, and it is really worth waiting for. It is similar to a Mardi Gras 3am show -“ I’m sure many people won’t be able to tell the difference.
Eurobeat opens Friday 8 September at the State Theatre. Bookings on 136 100 or at the Ticketmaster website.