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Evita
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
The Lowry, 7 September 2010

Evita

This is a thrilling production of a rather curious musical – although all musicals tend to gravitate toward the curious, weird and problematic part of the spectrum if you think about them long enough.

There is the main story, virtually a hagiography of Eva Peron – a woman who was a strange amalgam of Margaret Thatcher, Mother Teresa and Marilyn Monroe.  She died young, aged 33.  But this is undercut by Che’s satirical commentary, with the net effect being that we look at Eva’s actions from an ironic distance.

The songs are great and they range from the familiar (‘Oh What a Circus’ and ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’) to the less well-known (e.g. ‘You Must Love Me’).  The cast tick all the right boxes and select the appropriate radio button when needs must.  Abigail Jaye as Eva is exciting yet pitiable, while Mark Powell as Che is by turns moralistic and mischievous.  No complaints either about the sets and the sometimes sumptuous costumes.

Altogether, it is a splendidly entertaining show.

Evita is showing at The Lowry until 18 September.  Full details are here.