Evita

Date 24th October 2019
Society Worthing Musical Comedy Society
Venue The Connaught Theatre, Worthing
Type of Production Musical
Director Caroline Lowe
Musical Director Nigel Newman
Choreographer Kate Wilson

Report

Author: Jose Harrison

Evita is a 1970s ‘sung through rock opera’ with no unaccompanied dialogue. It tells the story of the life of Maria Eva Duarte de Peron, a poor Argentinian girl who grows up to be the wife of the president of Argentina, from her teenage years to her untimely death in her early thirties. From the outset the stage was open and the scene was set with a crowd sitting watching a film which was suddenly stopped to announce the death of their beloved Eva Peron. This was a brilliantly clever and very moving opening.

Paige Blackman as Peron’s rejected mistress sang one of my favourite numbers ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall’. Her delightful sweet yet powerful voice came in stark contrast to Kiarnie Camp as the ‘never to be forgotten Eva Peron, performed with incredible acting skill and vocal ability. She was every inch the lead in this outstanding production. Together with her stunning costumes and wigs she portrayed this remarkable women totally convincingly.

Tom Brennan has an imposing stage presence and coupled with his deep and resonant voice made him an ideal choice for the character of Peron. His performance at Eva’s time of illness and subsequent death scene were very moving carrying the audience through the drama with such feeling that we really felt we were witnessing the whole event.

‘Oh What a Circus’ and ‘High Flying Adored’ were sung by Wayne Roberts and his incredibly strong powerful voice made the hairs stand up on the back of the neck. This goes for the whole of his performance which was dynamic and totally convincing as he prowled about the stage. What more can I say, he was brilliant. Matthew Collins performed and sang well as the night-club singer Magaldi and all the chorus members, including the children, acted and sang outstandingly. I mustn’t forget Edie Holmes who treated us to a delightful solo. Well done.

It is always important to remember that the production of any musical depends on the joint efforts of the choreographer, the orchestra, the lighting designer and, of course the herculean effort of the director and so many others such as sound department, stage crew and costume departments.  This show was a first class effort on everyone’s part and deserved the full houses it had for each performance.