Perhaps one of Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice’s most quintessential musicals of their time, catapulted in popularity by the hit 1996 film starring Madonna, Evita remains pertinent for today's audiences. Ellie Woolman reviews:

Evita is arguably the most iconic rags to riches story of an illegitimate child from Los Toldos who rose higher than anyone thought possible – to the saint and savour of Argentina.

Lucy O’Byrne appears as the leading lady, Eva Perón, and perfectly captures the strong, powerful political character with an emotional, somewhat vulnerable soul, stemmed from her dark and difficult upbringing in the slums of Los Toldos. O’Byrne’s performance of the most famous tune, ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’, brings the house down with rapture of applause and cheers. Her outstanding vocals and sentiment of the song steal the show completely. It’s a perfect portrayal of Eva’s rise to fame, success and fortune to her downfall and untimely death at the devastating age of just 33 years old.

Evita Theatre Royal Plymouth

Lucy O’Byrne & Glenn Carter (image courtesy of Pamela Raith)

Glenn Carter takes on the role of Che, the all-seeing, all-knowing Argentinian narrator. Lloyd- Webber writes some wonderful belting lines for the character, so as somewhat insignificant as the character of Che is, Carter portrays him well with an air of mystery and an impressively booming tenor voice. Another stand out performance is Cristina Hoey as Mistress, a beautiful young woman who is quickly evicted by Eva as she takes over Peron’s establishment. With just one song in the show, ‘Another Suitcase Another Hall’, Hoey casts a spell over the auditorium with her marvellous vocals and heart-breaking vulnerability.

Evita Theatre Royal Plymouth

Mike Sterling & Lucy O’Byrne (image courtesy of Pamela Raith)

There is no doubt that the musical score of Evita is magnificent and very obviously Lloyd-Webber’s – it oozes with his well-known style. The show employs an eclectic range of music styles, including tango and paso doble, as well as choral pieces and instrumental passages. It really is a fiesta for the ears in every sense of the word. Beautiful, fun and thrilling. Abeautiful classic which will continue to thrill audiences for decades to come.

 

 

★★★☆☆

Evita ran at Theatre Royal Plymouth until 18 August 2018 as part of a UK tour. For further information, please visit the musical website.