Reviewed by Cate Norris
Wow! Now I know this may not be the most fancy or articulate word, but if one word could sum up Evita, wow would be it. What an extraordinarily beautiful, theatrical arrangement.
This is a real musical with absolutely every word sang. It tells the remarkable story of the incredible life of Eva Peron played by West End talent, Emma Hatton. Having come from humble, Argentinian beginnings, Eva desires more from life. Her ambition, drive, sheer determination and of course ‘star quality’, helps her achieve fame as an actress. Following a string of unsuccessful flings, Eva sets her sights on a high-power relationship and becomes involved with Peron. Eva calls on her adoring public to support her husband and he is voted as president. As the first lady, she is unstoppable in her career and achieves ultimate power, status and wealth. The Argentinian girl she once was, may be gone forever. Her body however, is not so relentless and she tragically faces her untimely death.
Every cast member was note perfect and the dancing was spectacular. There is just something about the power of music that forces a connection and this was an exceptionally emotive production. Credit has to be given to the direction, technical and lighting arrangements. There were some really clever effects, beautiful lighting and seamless movement between scenes. The chorus used pause and freeze in places which had powerful results and was credit to how much work and thought has been put into this show.
My favourite scene was ‘I’d Be Surprising Good for You’ where Eva and Peron first meet. This is a charming, touching and romantic scene, perfect for all you love birds out there. Of course, the one we all one to see- ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’, well what can I say? Emma Hatton’s rendition was just gorgeous. It left the audience flabbergasted! I don’t think we knew whether to clap, cry or just shut our mouths and stop gawping! But, I’ve saved the best for last, Che played by Gian Marco Schiaretti. He was my favourite character and boy can he hit a high note! He’s also easy on the eye and made for interesting conversation all the way home, as my daughter and I were confused about his role. He appears to be a narrator, although, I thought he could be Eva’s subconscious, my daughter however, thought he was an all-seeing body. I would love to hear your perspectives #whoisChe?
I need to mention the Wolverhampton Grand. It was my first time visiting this theatre and they don’t call it grand for nothing! My goodness it is stunning. Staff were friendly and welcoming and there are bars and kiosks on every level to purchase drinks and snacks during the interval. I will certainly be returning. This was a spectacular theatre production which must be recommended. What a fantastic night out.
Tickets cost from £16 to £41.50 (booking fees may apply).
Evita is at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from 9-13 May 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.grandtheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01902 429 212.
The Grand Theatre Wolverhampton, Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1DE