The show only a war could interrupt

Pictured is Portuguese Madalena Alberto playing Eva,in Evita at The Lyceum Theatre,Sheffield
Pictured is Portuguese Madalena Alberto playing Eva,in Evita at The Lyceum Theatre,Sheffield
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REVIEW: Evita, Lyceum

It’s back. The show that only a war could interrupt has returned to the boards in a big brash new production. And it does full justice to the original of 35 years ago that saw the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber collaboration at its creative best.

One of the unlikeliest tales that has ever graced the musical stage, the saga of the destitute child who grew up to be the most important woman in South America captured the imagination of the musical world just as Eva Peron did in in real life for the people of Argentina.

And the night belongs to Madalena Alberto whose portrayal of Eva is simply superb. From the carefree days of a small town upbringing, to the glamour of Buenos Aries and then eventual demise, this is a role she relishes with stunning precision.

Star billing goes to Marti Pellow, but the role of Che is no more than a glorified narrator and gives him little chance to shine. But perhaps an opening night audience of around 90% women is testament to his appeal. And the best song ever given to a minor role in a musical – Another Suitcase in Another Hall – is with the exceptionally capable voice of Sarah McNicholas who play’s Peron’s mistress.

The ensemble keeps the show alive with Bill Deamer’s lively choreography and the imaginative set fits better than most on the Lyceum stage.

A show that opens and closes with a funeral might not seem the best bet for a big night out, but audiences leave the theatre alive and uplifted.

Evita continues to July 13.

Alan Powell