Stagecraft: Book: Performance:
Truly wonderful! Came home and sang “don’t cry for me…” thankfully only my wee dug had to put up with my dulcet tones! The truth is Emma Hatton as Evita will never leave me! I was absolutely blow away by the show and was on the edge of my seat almost all of the way through the performance. I knew a little bit about the story of Evita but I had never read any of the books and had actually fell asleep during the movie. So I wouldn’t dare comment on the historical accuracy of Bill Kenwright’s production of the emotive masterpiece by Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice – Evita.
The story was told in a wonderful way which was moving and gripping from the start. I have to also admit that Evita popped my cherry at the playhouse so I really did not know what a treat I was in for. The theatre was very grand and very red I thought as I took my seat. I was expecting some brilliant acoustics from the orchestra and actors and I was not disappointed! I also thought the sets where amazing with a mix of grandeur and scale which depicted classic palace halls and chapels to boutique cafés and endless balconies which where all speedily and seamlessly changed as the drama unfolded.
To be truthful though there was a few stars shining brightly that night; Gian Marco Schiaretti as Che who helped narrate Evita’s journey from the lower calsses of Argentine society to the palincial palace was very funny and vocally outstanding. I really took to Che and thought that he portrayed the character very well and that he tried to express both the love for Evita and understanding that many Agentine people must surely have. Oscar Balmaseda played Magaldi (Eva’s first rouge!) brilliantly and when he sang ‘On this night of a thousand starts’ it was delivered perfectly with the right balance of humour and talent (just as the rest of his performance).
There were certainly no doubt a few rouges back in 1940’s Argentina, and the fact that the country has someone who will always be remembered is perhaps a legacy that most of the Argentine people will be proud to have. I am sure like most of the great one’s Eva’s discretions will be long forgot before she is! One of the other outstanding solo performances I thought was Sarah O Conner who played Peron’s mistress who was abruptly evicted by Evita. Sarah’s rendition of Another Suitcase in another hall was absolutely stunning! Juan Domino Peron was played by Kevin Stephen-Jones who gave the character a touch of presidential elegance throughout the show and showed genuine heart felt love for Evita. If I was wanting to be picky I would say there was a couple of wobbles from the supporting cast where I couldn’t quite catch the words on one or two of the songs song’s, but never from Eva who was played perfectly by the Lead.
Thankfully I can report there was no chance of me falling asleep for the show! I was enthralled from the moment the first light appeared from behind the curtain! Evita was perfectly performed by a group of very talented and beautiful people. There was no shortage of talent on the stage Emma Hatton was phenomenal and when she delivered the shows signature song ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina it was absolutely beautiful, it really was a showstopper! However thankfully there was more to come as this was only the first song in the second act. We were then treated to an array of further musical numbers and songs as the inevitable end drew near of my poor wee Evita and the wonderful show!
Reviewer : Mark Parker