Grand Opera House York – 28 March 2017. Reviewed by Michelle Richardson
Bill Kenwright brings to stage the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s 1970s musical Evita, now playing at the Grand Opera House, York, running until Saturday 1st April.
The story follows the meteoric rise from rags to riches of Eva Peron. Born in poverty she moves to Buenos Aires and becoming a bit part actress. We see her basically sleeping her way to the top, discarding suitors along the way as she moves onto the next, someone who will benefit her more, becoming the first lady after marrying military leader Juan Peron and becoming the spiritual leader of Argentina, until ultimately dying at the age of 33, succumbing to cancer.
Emma Hatton plays a convincing Eva, showcasing her musical talents in the excellent rendition of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, which she sings with great sentimentality and delivers a powerful statement. She may be small but she can sure pack a punch, portraying both the power and fragility of Eva.
Gian Marco Schiaretti as Che, is certainly pleasing on the eye (am I allowed to say that?), is the narrator prowling and dominating the stage, being the voice of the people. His confident story telling, through song, binds the show together, taking the audience on a journey. We see him lurking in the shadows, always representing the people. This is his first UK role, he is Italian, and his vocals are quite rich with that European lilt.
This pair were definitely the stand out members of the cast for me, but they were well backed by the other cast members, including Kevin Stephen-Jones as Juan Peron. All the ensemble and live musicians worked hard to deliver a great show.
This is the first time I’ve seen Evita, I’ve never even seen the film, and though I’ve heard of Eva Peron I did not know the story. All I can say now is that I don’t think I like Eva Peron. She slept her way to the top and manipulated the common people of Argentina whilst getting rich in the process. She may have been adored by the people, but not me.
This was a powerful show and one not to be missed!