evita malvern


Malvern Theatres


Eva Peron was born to poor and unmarried parents in Argentina. The youngest of five children she aspired from a young age to be an actress.

In the course of time she moved to Buenos Aires where she secured steady employment on the radio. She performed in plays and a handful of films, but it was through meeting Colonel Peron at a charity function that she moved into the limelight.

She eventually campaigned for her husband to become President and became the darling of the people. She died of cancer at the early age of 33, but her place in the hearts of the people resulted in her being granted a state funeral and she was venerated as a saint by many.

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote Evita to celebrate her complex character and role in Argentine society with nearly 30 songs, several of which have become real classics, such as Don’t Cry for Me Argentina. This hit musical is now touring the country and presently running in the Festival Theatre in Malvern.

evita malmid

Lucy O’Byrne as Eva and Mike Sterling as Peron

Eva was a glitzy individual who wanted to help the poorer classes in society while leading an opulent lifestyle in a government that left the general population in dire straights. This musical provides an ironic critique of the Perons through the character of Che who functions effectively as a narrator throughout the evening.

This production is visually stunning: with its large cast, imposing sets, brilliant costumes, varied and powerful lighting and choreography it makes a huge impact on the eye, as well as a strong impact on the ear.

The direction of Bob Thomson and Bill Kenwright and the design of Matthew Wright were triumphant. They are brilliantly supported by Bill Deamer (Choreography), Caroline Hannah (Costume Design) and Tim Oliver (Lighting).

Lucy O’Byrne (Eva) has a voice that fluctuates between the beautiful and lyrical in some songs and some others where she is rather shrill and harsh. Her performance grows in the second half and she ended up winning the audience although she lacks some charm and charisma initially. Her performance towards the end when Eva is sick and weak was particularly poignant.

Glenn Carter as Che provides a strong mellow voice and performance, Mike Sterling as Peron is excellent with his stillness and control. Christina Hoey delivered the song Another Suitcase in Another Hall beautifully – she has a clear and lovely voice and was very movingly performed

This production provides a strong and very enjoyable evening and runs in Malvern till 8 September.

Tim Crow


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