Evita Review

York Theatre Royal – until 19th February 2022

Reviewed by Alison Beaumont


Evita is a musical with music by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Sir Tim Rice and first opened in the West End in 1978 and has won many awards. It is about the life of the Argentine political leader Eva Peron, the second wife of the Argentine president Juan Peron. It follows Evita’s early life, rise to power, charity work and her early death. Eva was worshipped by her people. The musical starts and ends with her death.

The show was being performed by York Light who are an amateur theatre company. This is quite a big musical for an amateur group to be putting on with technically difficult songs. The director Martyn Knight decided to double cast the leading roles, one of the reasons being due to still being in a pandemic to protect themselves and also to give each team enough rest between performances. On the night I went to see the show it was the Yellow Team that were performing. The show is fully sung which is a huge task for even professionals and I personally feel the double casting for this production was a good call.

The main role of Eva was played by Alexa Chaplin. Unfortunately, there were technical issues with her microphone at the beginning which couldn’t be resolved until she was off stage long enough for it to be rectified which wasn’t until about Scene 4, however she did well to carry on regardless. I did feel in the first Act her vocals weren’t at times the best but this could have been down to worrying over the microphone. Having said that when she came out in Act 2 to sing the famous “Don’t cry for me Argentina” she was amazing, maybe she was saving herself for this big number, the dress she was wearing was stunning and she certainly shone. From this point I felt that she delivered in some very emotional songs.

Che (Dale Vaughan) was excellent and gave a faultless performance, I could quite easily see him in professional productions.

Peron played by John Hall gave an all round solid performance.

David Copley-Martin was Magaldi and gave a good solo rendition of “On this Night of a Thousand Stars”.

Fiona Phillips who played the mistress has an outstanding voice and I could quite easily see her taking on more leading roles in the future.

This performance would not have been a show without the ensemble who were brilliant, the vocals were exceptional. At this point I would like to give a shout out to my niece Ellie Watson who was in the ensemble, well done, maybe a name to look out for in the future .

There was a slight issue in Santa Evita when the spacing on row two looked a little out but all in all the ensemble were spot on.

I’m sure the blue team will be just as good and the leading roles in this team are to be played by Eva Emma-Louise Dickinson – Eva , Jonnhy Holbek – Che, NeilWood – Peron , Richard Weathrill Magalidi and Hannah Witcomb as the Mistress.

For me it isn’t my type of musical as I prefer something not quite as deep but it certainly is well worthy of going to see. If you don’t know the story of Evita I would recommend reading up about it before you go to see the performance as without the knowledge it is quite fast paced and difficult to understand. Overall, for an amateur theatre company this was a very well produced and performed production.