The Death of Gogol and the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest
This one-hour, one-man musical tragical-comedy, uses songs from the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest, and premiered at the Drill Hall, London, 2005
Lenny Kuhr, an 18-year-old singer/songwriter, and communist lesbian virgin, prepares to represent the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Meanwhile, Stuart has something to send in the post, a just-completed radical treatise which will set the record straight about exactly how gay Nikolai Gogol was, writer and depressive and obsessor of noses. And what was his predilection for Cossacks all about?
Is Lenny merely part of Stuart’s imagination, and if not, why won’t she let him switch off the Eurovision Song Contest and go and post his treatise?
The Death of Gogol and the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest is a unique entertainment. A one-man show with a cast of thousands. It veers from a celebration of glorious euro-campery, to a moving exploration of one man’s agoraphobia, via a quick peek at those sexy Cossacks.
Commissioned by the Drill Hall, The Death of Gogol and the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest is Tim Luscombe’s second play with a song contest theme (the first, EuroVision, was also produced at the venue before transferring to the West End) and The Death of Gogol… is a triumph.
However, it isn’t just a celebration of Eurovision; it’s far more than that.
This production encapsulates as perfect a balance of tragi-comedy as can possibly be achieved. The song contest offers the opportunity for laughter and tension while the real human tragedy of Stuart’s pathetic, doomed existence is skilfully intertwined with the death of the Ukrainian writer.
A light-entertainment fist half with lots of singing for Lenny and Eurovision jokes… In the 2nd half, things get more serious and more interesting.