This week Stoke-on-Trent is being transported to Argentina as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita takes to the Regent Theatre Stage. I as a reviewer have never seen the show or film before, so everything about this show was completely new to me and I must say I was exceptionally impressed.
The show stars Emma Hatton who most recently played Elphaba in Wicked on the West End. She is an absolute marvel as Eva Peron. She has such power and shade and light in her voice. Every song she sang was breath-taking her persona as ‘Eva’ was remarkable she shone on that stage as only Eva could. The most recognisable song from the show is of course ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.’ This was sang with such a grace by Hatton.
The role of Che was played by Gian Marco, who had such a hard task staying on stage for pretty much the entirety of the show. He commanded attention throughout, was in character throughout and was breath-taking throughout. He acted with such attack in the character and was completely brilliant throughout. He is one of the strongest actors and vocalists I’ve seen in a very long time.
Kevin Stephen-Jones took on the role of Peron. This was also an incredible performance the bond he built with Hatton was stunning. He like Marco could command a stage when he was there you knew it. Considering the manor of his character he was still completely loveable and he made me well up in ‘You Must Love Me’ His acting in that number was stunning.
Sarah O’Connor sang ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall.’ Beautifully it was almost effortless. Although this part wasn’t on for long it made an impact.The chorus in the show were energetic and moved the show along brilliantly. The dances in the show are exceptionally intricate and there wasn’t a foot out of time from anyone.
A big shout-out needs to be given to the costume department of the show as they were outstanding in the show. Evita’s dress in ‘Don’t Cry for me Argentina’ was just out of this world. The way it caught the light whenever it was on stage was incredible. But all the costume was stunning this one dress just stuck in my mind.
The set was wonderful. It looked beautiful and set the location of the show wonderfully, props in the show were also brilliant. If I had one little gripe with the show is that the Stage Managers were very easy to spot whilst they were moving the set and this at points was slightly distracting.
Overall, I’d say that I defiantly enjoyed the second half much more than the first if I was wholeheartedly honest. The second half seems to hold all the action. Also the songs in this half are much slower and therefore easier to comprehend as I did at points in the first half get slightly lost. The show is worth anyone’s money though. You need to go and see the show to see what is one of the most heart-warming real life stories in history the love between Peron and Eva is captured perfecting in this cast. I have never seen so many people stand up so quickly for a standing ovation though. Practically the whole theatre was up when the bows occurred and rightly so.
Reviewer: Leanne Ashworth
Reviewed: 31st January 2017
North West End Rating: ★★★★