Review: Evita (Manchester Palace Theatre)

EVITA: Madalena Albertyo as Eva Per�n and Wet Wet Wet singer Marti Pellow
EVITA: Madalena Albertyo as Eva Per�n and Wet Wet Wet singer Marti Pellow

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical “Evita” has made its return to Manchester - once again showcasing a tight ensemble and breathtaking talent.

While Wet Wet Wet sensation Marti Pellow seems to have lost the energy he brought to The Lowry in 2013, the overall production does not disappoint.

Telling the story of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the production boasts a stunning set, captivating choreography and moving musical arrangements.

The show is a little slow to start, and microphones could do to be turned up a notch, but by the fourth number “On This Night Of A Thousand Stars” it starts to pick up pace.

For me, the leading ladies give the stand-out performances of the evening - with Sarah McNicholas’ vocals as Mistress being the real steal of the show. Her adaptation of the iconic show tune “Another Suitcase In Another Hall” is truly enthralling, and is a number you would be happy to watch time and time again.

Madalena Alberto as Eva provides equally stunning vocals, and delivers the most famous song of them all “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” flawlessly. The actress has the magical ability to make everything she does look effortless, and as a result leaves her audience feeling completely at ease.

There is a reason why there are certain songs more well-known than others, as some numbers are very “samey” and some more contrived. But while I would not buy the soundtrack, the music does work in context and provides a fascinating insight into the life of the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón.

All in all, Bill Kenwright’s revival of the popular musical is well worth a watch - but could do with a little freshening up if it is to come on tour again.

REBECCA COHEN