Phoenix Theatre, London
Seen October 4th, 2017
Reviewed by Jade Prince
Those who have read my recent reviews will know that I have seen the shows at the later stages of their runs and this one is no different. Evita only has another week left in the West End but that does not mean you should forget about seeing it!
The iconic story of the rise of Eva Peron and how she became Argentina. From a middle class family, she worked her way up the ranks by winning the hearts of the people of Argentina. A touching true story told with music by the one and only Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice.
It was nice to be able to see the show again as the last time I had seen it was back in 2014 on its UK tour. I personally did not notice any drastic changes to the set or staging but then again, why change something if it is working well? They have managed to condense the set down in order to work with the smaller size of the Phoenix theatre however it is most certainly better suited on a larger stage. This helps to add to the grandeur in a handful of numbers.
The show itself was very enjoyable however really lacked the “wow” factor. I am not too sure whether this is because I have seen the show before (a very long time ago) or what it was but the spark was not there. The cast were very strong together however there were a few little things that I could not help but notice. The first being the lack of accents. Or should I say the amount of different accents they attempted to include. There was no set accent and at one point between Eva and Che in act one I thought it was about to move into Sweeney Todd! It is set in Argentina!
Another point which disappointed me was the fact that the child actor was, very noticeably, miming during “Santa Evita”. I found this a shame as there are some many talented kids in the west end. She was incredibly cute though and melted hearts so in a way that compensated.
Despite these two little down falls there were two things that stood out. Che (Gian Marco Schiaretti) was sensational. I could not take my eyes off of him for the whole show and vocally he was outstanding.
The other stand out moment happened where I least expected it – “Another Suitcase in Another Hall”. This is by far my favourite song of the whole show so ultimately I have high expectations and in my opinion the best performance was by Samantha Barks on ‘Andrew Lloyd Webber – 40 musical years’. Well, I was slightly wrong! Sarah O’Connor (Mistress) smashed it. Her vocals and acting were on point throughout and I was captivated. This was probably my favourite moment of the whole show.
Evita is a beautiful show which is well established. Each time you see it you know exactly what to expect and this version is no exception. It only has another week left at the Phoenix Theatre so be sure to get a ticket. Must end October 14th. Tickets and more information: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/evita/phoenix-theatre/