Evita, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre - review and pictures
Eva Perón once said her biggest fear in life was to be forgotten.
But the icon lives on through stunning Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical Evita - and the production at Wolverhampton Grand most certainly does it justice. There are few stage productions which can move me to even laugh - let alone cry - but Evita achieved both, and with ease.
The play opened at the Grand last night, telling the tale of controversial Argentinian political figure Eva Perón - adored by her followers, detested by her opponents.
Having grown up with the film starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas, I had high hopes for this show, and was most certainly not disappointed.
The production oozed talent and professionalism throughout; the choreography and scenery stunning at every turn. No expense was spared on the costumes and sets - and it showed.
Star of the show - and a favourite with the ladies - was Gian Marco Schiaretti, who played Che. A stunning actor with a phenomenal range, Gian portrayed the determined, powerful character with perfection - even capturing Che’s dry sense of humour so brilliantly displayed in the film.
Though each of his performances were faultless, his best was perhaps the incredibly strong rendition of High Flying, Adored - a soft, moving piece, illustrated perfectly with his beautiful voice.
Oscar Balmaseda, who played the part of Eva’s first lover Magaldi, was stunning too - with beautiful range and tremendously strong vocals when singing On This Night Of A Thousand Stars. He was truly impressive - particularly given that he was not a main character.
Emma Hatton as Eva gave a mixed performance, however. During the first act, she appeared to forget a few words while singing her duet with Magaldi ahead of their trip to Buenos Aires. She also seemed to struggle with some of the lower notes on the songs - though the music from Evita is far from simple to perform.
Her vocal performance improved greatly during the second half, though I would have liked to have seen more power when she performed the iconic Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.
Her acting, on the other hand, was exceptional - and it was her heart-wrenching rendition of You Must Love Me which moved me to tears. A gorgeous, spine-tingling performance which simply stunned.
The wonderful orchestra and surround sound effects creating a crowd atmosphere brought the production to life - seemingly beaming the audience into the story itself.
Though I, as a huge Evita fan, adored the show, it was mentioned by many that, without having previously known the story, it was easy to get a little lost in the first half of the play.
Don’t let that put you off though - watch the film beforehand if you have to, but this is a must-see production.
Oh what a circus, oh what a show...
Miss it, miss out.
Evita runs at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday.