Dominion Theatre, London
Summary: Frustratingly flat and un-engaging production of a modern musical classic
You can keep your Phantoms, your Cats, your Josephs and everything else. When it come to Lloyd Webber and Rice (together or apart), you can’t top Evita. The tale of Eva Duartes’ rise from peasant girl to the first lady of Argentina is beautifully told and underpinned by some of Rice/Lloyd Webbers most lyrical, melodic and pop-driven tunes. What’s not to love?
However, if this production was your first introduction to Evita, you’d be forgiven for considering it a laborious, flabby, hotchpotch of a musical. Such is the state of this production that as a real admirer of Evita, I couldn’t wait to get out of this show.
From the outset, when Marti Pellow, as Che Guevara, kicks off the show, you know you’re not in safe hands. He looks physically uneasy on the stage, relying to the sort of physical posturing you’d expect from a superhero comic book. And as for his voice, it completely lacks the depth and gravitas required of the character; whilst a really solid pop singer, here his voice comes across as flimsy and weak.
Newcomer Madalena Alberto fares marginally better as the titular Evita, however, she really doesn’t come into her own, or do the character justice, until about half way through the second half of the play, as the story builds to its emotional climax. The rest of the cast seem to take their performance cues from the leads, resulting in a wishy-washy lacklustre performance all round.
Unfortunately this production has taken a cherished and much lauded production and turned it into a near-amatuer, run-of-the-mill production. Unforgivable,