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"I Will Come Again" - Evita at the Bristol Hippodrome

Published by: G.D. Mills on 8th Oct 2013 | View all blogs by G.D. Mills

EVITA
BRISTOL HIPPODROME

7TH OCT - 12TH OCT 2O13

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Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita has a long established performance pedigree and this revival, with Bill Kenwright at the helm, can only serve to strengthen it. It begins with an august requiem, sung at the funeral of the much loved first lady of Argentina, Eva Peron, whose story we will shortly come to know. The opening set  - marble floors, majestic colonnades, a stately spaciousness - captures the grandeur of Eva’s final circumstances, thus throwing into relief the modesty of her beginnings – for Evita is a rags to riches story, as well as a romantic and political one. 

This is the story of an actress’s rise from provincial obscurity, via numerous opportunistic and mercenary love affairs,  to glamorous dynamo on the political world stage. Marti Pellow, formally of Wet Wet Wet, plays Che, the hard-nut revolutionary chorus who guides us through the action. Despite some obvious macho posturing - Pellow isn’t from an acting background after all – his is an irresistibly muscular presence and the rich authority of his voice contrasts pleasingly with the girlish timbre of Eva in her skittish early years.

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Hannah Grover portrays Eva’s graduation from naïf to dictator’s wife with lively credibility, managing to capture both the Hollywood grace that made her so popular with the descamisados (shirtless ones) as well as the steely drive that fuelled her rapid ascent to the top. Joe Maxwell is less memorable as the president, but his pitch carries a severity and gravitas, more pronounced still as the frail Eva, cowed by illness into a withdrawal from public life, withers with cancer. Sarah McNicholas is astonishingly poignant in her performance as Peron’s ousted mistress, her delicate, soaring pitch reaching out for an emotional solace that will never come.

More perhaps than any other musical I’ve seen, the numbers seem to slide seamlessly into each other, weaving a lush musical thread through the grandest of narratives. “I will come again, and I will be millions,” Eva once said at the height of her powers. Thanks, in part, to the success of this remarkable musical, she never really went away. 
 

     EVITA - BRISTOL HIPPODROME  
             7th Oct - 12th Oct 2013
 
http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome/
 

Evita

Comments

1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 4 years ago
    Thanks, Geoff. Lovely review. I really enjoyed this show when it toured to Glasgow.
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