Don’t cry for me, Argentina. The truth is I never left you. All through my wild days, my mad existence, I kept my promise. Don’t keep your distance.
A teeny-weeny confession: I knew nothing about Evita until I went to see it last night. Okay, maybe the tiniest exaggeration; I knew it was the musical that Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina and Another Suitcase in Another Hall belonged to but that was the extent of my knowledge. And I call myself a musical theatre fan, shocking right?
Seven months ago, my mum had booked tickets for us to see Evita at the Regent Theatre; my trusty local and last night, we finally saw it. *Cue the cheers, please.*
Eyes. Hair. Mouth. Figure. Dress. Voice. Style. Image. Eva Peron; otherwise known as Evita, the Spiritual Leader of the Nation. Fundamentally, Evita tells the story of the iconic First Lady of Argentina who started from humble roots and rose to power after marrying dictator Juan Peron. Rejected by the middle class who felt threatened by her presence in their social circles, Eva Peron stole the hearts of the working class through her ambition and charity work driving her to be the Voice and Heart of the people. Her untimely death at 33 years old highlighted how much she managed to pack into her short life and the legacy that she left behind; A New Argentina.
The evening surely belonged to Emma Hatton who delivered an incredible performance of Eva Peron. I’m sure my friends began to get annoyed with me when I regularly reminded them that I’m seeing Hatton in Evita. Formerly Elphaba Thropp in West End’s Wicked (which I had the pleasure of seeing her twice – check out my review here), she used her Elphaba pipes to deliver a formidable performance as Eva. Emma Hatton owned the role straightaway making each song her own with her individual flare. Her rendition of Buenos Aires highlighted her talent early on and her performance of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina beautifully contrasted, showcasing her vocal range and talent. I particularly loved I’d Be Surprisingly Good for You. She was extremely convincing in portraying Eva’s illness; she exposed her inner-vulnerability and I’m certain there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Hatton was born for this role.
I loved Gian Marco Schiaretti’s take on the narrator Ché. Gian used his charm instantly to make the audience warm to his role. Extremely enigmatic, rather handsome and witty, he provided the comic relief in what is a rather heavy musical. His voice is a pure delight and he’s everything a leading man should be.
Kevin Stephen-Jones played Juan Peron. The next Jeremy Secomb, perhaps? His baritone voice was exceptional and he delivered a compelling performance. Sarah O’Connor sang a very sincere and beautiful rendition of Another Suitcase in Another Hall. It was a true pleasure to watch.
What a cast to have seen for my first time seeing Evita. I’m seriously debating whether to see it again on Friday night before it leaves Stoke-on-Trent. Shall I? Someone please convince me to.
Don’t miss out on the UK Tour: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/evita/
Update: I did go back to see Evita on the Friday. I am weak.