AS you might expect, The Aylesbury Waterside Theatre was full for Monday night’s performance of Evita, the famous musical by Tim Rice Andrew Lloyd Webber. And the packed audience did not leave disappointed – this production of the classic show made for an impressive night out.
Having never seen the musical before, not even the film starring Madonna, and not knowing much about the history of Argentina, I really didn’t know what to expect.
Like most people in my position however, I knew many of the songs already, having heard them on the radio or TV. The music is the show’s true star of course, as there are so many beautiful songs, and these did not disappoint – I will be singing them all week.
Among the most famous numbers, as you probably know, are the likes of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina and Oh What a Circus.
The show, which is based on true historical events, is about the rise of Eva, a poor Argentinian working class girl who makes her way into acting by having relationships with a succession of influential men. She eventually meets and marries an important general, Juan Peron, and helps him rise to power to become the President of Argentina. The rich ruling class despise her, but the working class people of Argentina love her, treating her as a saint. The musical, however, is critical of the Peron government and of Eva in particular, giving an interesting dimension to its story.
Marti Pellow, the lead singer from Wet Wet Wet and star of many musicals already – notably Chicago, played the part of Che, the narrator of the story. As the show’s best known name, he predictably got a big cheer at the end, but many of the lesser known talents on stage shone even more brightly.
Andrew C Wadsworth, as Peron, was a powerful presence onstage and a brilliant actor and singer. However, it was Madalena Alberto as Eva who really wowed the audience. Her amazing voice coped expertly with the difficult music and her subtle acting really made you believe in her character’s story.
The sets for the show were another highlight. In fact, there were many scene changes throughout, which were accomplished brilliantly. One moment we were in a church and the next, with a few props being whisked on by the actors, we were in a local bar. The music and action never stopped; this meant that the production kept your interest throughout and the evening went by very quickly indeed.
Overall, this production of Evita makes for a fantastic night out; I would heartily recommend that you go and see it.
The show runs at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until Saturday, every night at 7.30pm with matinee performances at 2.30pm on Thursday and Saturday.
For more information and bookings go to www.atgtickets.com/shows/evita/aylesbury-waterside-theatre