Touring – reviewed at the Storyhouse Theatre, Chester
Guest reviewer: Becca Cromwell
Set mostly in 1940s Argentina, Evita focuses on the life and death of Argentinian actress turned political figure Eva Perón. Eva Duarte is a budding actress who tries her luck in Buenos Aires and ends up dating and eventually marrying Juan Perón. The first act of the show tells the tale of the Peróns’ rise to power in Argentina, with the focus on Juan Perón’s election as president and Eva becoming the First Lady of Argentina. In the second act, we see the aftermath of Eva’s ‘Rainbow Tour’ of Europe, which ends in her health declining, and eventually her death.
From the beginning, I was captivated by the sheer talent on the stage. The entire cast gave an utterly heartbreaking and incredibly moving performance which will take me a long time to forget. As with a lot of Bill Kenwright’s productions, the set was minimalistic, but it worked. Although there were a few technical issues, the show ran smoothly. The ensemble and child cast were astounding, with all of them giving great performances. The dance sequences were mesmerising and the harmonies were more than impressive.
Eva Perón was played by Madalena Alberto, who made it look completely effortless. Alberto is known for playing Eva in the Dominion Theatre and London Palladium productions and on a previous UK tour of Evita. From the beginning she gave an impressive performance, even managing to keep her vocals flawless as she was crying.
Che, played by Gian Marco Schiaretti, is the narrator of the show. He spends most of the show observing and narrating the public’s view of what is happening, which brings depth to the story and the characters. Known for playing this role in previous productions, Schiaretti gave a convincing performance and hit the high notes flawlessly.
Perón himself is played by none other than Jeremy Secomb, who is most known for his impressive list of West End credits, including hit roles such as Javert and Sweeney Todd. Jeremy gave a vocally fantastic performance, and exuded raw emotion throughout. He brought the part to life and made us really feel for him towards the end of the show.
Evita is definitely not a show to miss, and the UK Tour continues until June. Grab your tickets whilst you can.