CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Super George bounces back

17 January, 2019 — By John Gulliver

George Eugeniou, about to perform in a play about Jerry Siegel, who created Superman

I SHOULDN’T have been surprised when I heard about it – but what else can one expect of the indefatigable man of the theatre, 87-year-old George Eugeniou!

He was busy drawing up his appeal to the London Mayor for help to build an extension to his Camden Town theatre when he suffered a stroke – and collapsed.

Minutes later his son Aris discovered him lying on the floor of his little office and rang for an ambulance.

Ten minutes later he was being taken to University College Hospital – and, within two hours, was being operated on at the neurological hospital in nearby Queen Square, Bloomsbury, where surgeons dispersed a blood clot in his brain.

The stroke may well have been fatal or affected him more severely if quick action hadn’t been taken.

But none of this can get George down.

Within two weeks of his stroke last autumn he was back at his office in Crowndale Road tying up the loose ends of the appeal for his theatre.

Superman. Image: Alex Ross/DC Comics

But, inevitably, as a man who has been acting in films and theatre since the 1950s, the stage is his first love – and he is now rehearsing his leading part in a new short play at Theatro Technis about the man, Jerry Siegel, who dreamt up the idea of Superman in the 1930s.

Apparently, there was a fierce battle over rights and it was only Siegel’s heirs who benefited from a share of the publishing fortune after a court ruled in his favour years after his death.

What a strange convergence of events that George Eugeniou should be appearing in a play about Superman for if anyone is a little bit of a Superman it surely must be George himself!

Anyone else suffering a stroke at his age may well have decided to take it easy. How many stroke victims, I wonder, would pick themselves up so quickly – and decide to carry on regardless?

But then George, a man of radical ideas, and someone who would understand the way underdogs are treated, would be the first, I suppose, to work up enthusiasm to stage a play about a man cheated of his rights.

Not so long ago a reader, Phil Ryan, wrote a letter to this newspaper describing George as a “national treasure”.

He’s right.

You can see our Superman at Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Road, NW1. 020 7387 6617. The play, 130 Dollars, is part of a trilogy of one act plays at the theatre running from January 29 to February 3. £10/£8, http://theatrotechnis.com/Upcoming-Shows.php

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