Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Palace Theatre, Manchester
Our Lady of Sorrows, Argentina’s People’s Princess, a perfect subject for a musical.
Whatever you are looking for in Evita, you will find it here. There are wonderful performances of the best songs, and even the cheesy ‘B.A., Buenos Aires, Big Apple’ gets a decent run out. You get plenty of exciting and energetic dancing, with some tango naturally. And in the tale of a young woman’s journey from poverty to privilege and power, there is emotion and cyncism and not a little irony.
Take Che (an excellent performance by Gian Marco Schiaretti) out of the show and it is a wounded beast, because we need his disdain for Evita’s Marian populism and the people who fall for it. Yet although Che is a compelling narrator, what with his certain grasp of history and his place in it, he is deluded too, of course. And that is another irony: he too will become an icon after his death, and the truth he died for, a specimen of dirt-grain communism, will prove to have as limited a shelf-life as dear Evita’s conflation of Dior and Catholicism. At the end you realise that they are not so different.
This is an excellent production, and there are further tour dates here.