Evita (Salford Lowry)
Bill Kenwright's revival of Evita is a gripping and powerful piece of storytelling, says Rebecca Cohen
The Lowry, Salford
Set in Argentina, the musical looks at the life of political leader Eva Perón - exploring her life as a young woman, her rise to fame and ultimately her death.
Madalena Alberto shines as the leading lady, owning The Lowry's stage with her star quality and ‘triple threat' talent. Even when surrounded by the exceptionally gifted ensemble, the actress has that magical ability to keep the audience's eyes on her. Having recently seen success as Fantine in the 25th anniversary production of Les Miserables, it is a certainty that Alberto's is a face we will be seeing a lot more from in the near future. Her performance in ‘Buenos Aires' and ‘Don't Cry For Me Argentina' are particular stand-out moments.
Wet Wet Wet singer Marti Pellow gives a similarly impressive performances as Che - once again proving he is suited to the role of storyteller, following his stint as The Narrator in Blood Brothers. And American actor Mark Heenehan gives a believable and memorable performance as Eva's husband and military officer Juan Perón.
A special mention must also go to Sarah McNicholas, whose interpretation of the iconic show tune ‘Another Suitcase In Another Hall' earned her one of the best applauses of the night.
At times, it could be more poignant for lines to be spoken rather than sung. But with its stunning set, clever lighting rigs, and a flawless live orchestra, this is ultimately a powerful piece of storytelling that should be on any theatre lover's 'must see' list.
- Rebecca Cohen