Enthralling, irresistible Evita

08 Sep 2020

It opens at the close, with the sombre announcement that Eva Perón, dynamic and beloved first lady of Argentina, has died – and then springs to vibrant life, charting the rise and rise of this charismatic woman, from rural poverty to the height of her powers as the wife of Argentine president Juan Perón, before coming full circle and ending with her untimely death.

College and Rangi Ruru have done it again. They have taken this masterpiece of musical theatre by Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice and created a compelling, memorable production – and, perhaps channelling the spirit of Eva, they have not let obstacles get in their way. Covid alert level 2? Restrictions on audience size? Physical distancing requirements? No problem. They got creative, found a solution, got permission to live stream the production, booked cameras, outside broadcast facilities and satellite venues, and made sure the show can go on.

And what a show.

Leads Georgina Scott as Evita, Dominic Edmond as Ché, and Fletcher Anderson as Perón have extraordinary presence, they own the stage. Ché swaggers and struts, immune to Eva’s charms, and drives the story along. Evita is magnetic, seductive, enthralling, irresistible. Perón exudes power. This trio of stars are ably supported by cast-off lovers Lily Barrowcliffe as the Mistress and Ollie Jones as Magaldi, as well as a large cast of talented singers and dancers.

Behind the scenes, the show is equally as sharp. Under the direction of Rangi Ruru’s Janet Kingsbury, the orchestra doesn’t miss a beat, reflecting and underscoring the mood of every scene, every song. The costumes, makeup and sets brilliantly evoke the look and feel of Argentina in the 1940s and 50s.

Whether you are seated in the Assembly Hall or watching the professionally produced live simulcast at one of our satellite theatres, don’t miss the opportunity to see this outstanding show.