Tuesday 27 August 2013

Evita at Norwich Theatre Royal

On the afternoon of Saturday 27th July 2013 I attended the matinee performance of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita at Norwich Theatre Royal. Bringing to life the dynamic, larger than life persona of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, Evita tells the story from her young and ambitious beginnings to the enormous wealth and power she gained and her ultimate rise to sainthood.

This fantastic performance of Evita starred Marti Pellow as Che, Madalena Alberto as Eva and Mark Heenehan as Peron. We were treated to all the musical numbers including Oh What a Circus, Another Suitcase in Another Hall and Don't Cry For Me Argentina. Evita has more than twenty major awards to its credit and was always going to be one of the highlights of the year at Norwich Theatre Royal.

In a cinema in Buenos Aires in 1952, the film is interrupted by a news announcement: Eva Peron, the thirty-three-year-old wife of Argentina’s President Juan Peron, has died. In flashback, we see scenes from Eva’s extraordinary life. Born Eva Duarte, the youngest of five children of a single mother, she escapes her origins in the small town of Junín and heads for the bright lights of Buenos Aires, where she works  her way to a career as a radio actress and film starlet before becoming first the mistress and then the wife of Juan Peron, soon to be president of Argentina.

Adored by the common people, who affectionately call her Evita - Little Eva, she is regarded with suspicion by the military and social elite. Sceptical too is the figure of Che, who acts as a narrator and commentator throughout this remarkable story of a woman who rose to become the spiritual leader of her nation.

This was a brilliant afternoon to be at Norwich Theatre Royal as the story of Evita took us on an emotional journey full of passion and style. The drama and music of Evita are very compelling and intense. This was a show to remember that thrilled a full Norwich Theatre Royal and received loud applause at the end of the performance.

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