Evita, after debuting on London’s West End in that late 70’s, has been playing and touring for almost forty years so I was as keen as ever to see the production and add this musical number to my theatre repertoire.
The production tells the inspirational story of Eva Perón, a young Argentine woman who established for herself a life beyond even her wildest imaginations from being the actress who mixes with elite crowds to the wife of the Argentine president Juan Perón. The young Eva is feisty and even then we see her ruthless ambition as she sets her sights on a bigger and better life in “Buenos Aires” .
Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice the musical is performed almost entirely by song as the actors delivered their lines in a melody. Having seen other productions which were performed in this nature and having found them quite labouring to follow at times I can confidently say that this wasn’t the case for Evita. The whole performance the audience was enraptured in the tale of Eva and following her rise to power and never did the music take away substance to the story (as at parts it is important to follow to understand the political climate of Argentina at that time) but enhanced the performed and the atmosphere on stage. Of course “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” cropped up in the performance every now and then, as if to tease us, ready for the grand moment when the wonderful Emma Hatton sang it in full exquisitely.
The moment in the show that the audience fell silent was ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall’ and I could (and have been) listen to that song over and over again. This is the moment when a young mistress of Perón’s is told to leave once Eva moves in to his home and makes it her own. This young woman could have so easily has been Eva if her sheer grit and determination didn’t pay off.
Gian Marco Schiarettian as Che narrates the events from the early days of a young Eva running in the social circles, to becoming a charitable and influential figure in Argentina to her untimely death at the age of 33.