Evita (UK Tour) – Sunderland Empire
Che – Marti Pellow
Eva – Michelle Pentecost
Peron – Andrew C Wadsworth
Magaldi – Nic Gibney
Mistress – Sarah McNicholas
The story of Eva Peron and her rise within Argentina, with some truly incredible songs to go along with the story. This is the second time I have now seen Evita on the stage as I caught the 2008 UK Tour as well. But this revival is incredible and much better than the previous tour. I think the performances from all of the cast were incredible. I didn’t find out until afterwards that Michelle Pentecost is the alternate Eva, I would never have guessed she was fantastic in the role and really hit home with all of the big show stopping songs. She really did capture the audience and got a well deserved standing ovation at the end of the show. This is not something I have seen very often at the Sunderland Empire in all honesty, but Michelle certainly did more than deserve it!
The story is very emotional and the opening which is the cinema screening and Eva’s death being announced to then show her funeral really does set the tone. It isn’t going to be all happy throughout, the story. But one thing is for sure Evita was a fighter and her rise from nothing is a truly incredible story and what she done along the way with some rather amusing cheeky lyrics in some of the songs. Which will get a few laughs in the theatre you catch this show in.
This production really is not to be missed and Marti Pellow really does add to it as Che, he has brilliant stage presence which is needed a lot for this role as he is pretty much on stage all of the time. Even if it is just in the background, also taking on a lot of the songs as well. Some of which truly are brilliant. I will admit that I was a little concerned with his voice during the first big song in “Oh what a circus” as it seemed to be a little bit flat, but it didn’t take very long for him to get into it and show he really does have a fantastic voice. He is a joy to watch on the stage as well, he was the main reason I wanted to see this one after seeing him in Blood Brothers a few years ago.
Everyone knows ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ and you really do wait for it as the show goes on and it was well and truly nailed. It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and is very emotional. Along with a few other songs in the show as well, emotions really do fly all over the place watching this one. It was “You Must Love Me” which totally destroyed me, Eva on the floor next to her hospital bed and Peron holding her, honestly I had tears streaming down my face it was unreal to watch the performances from Pentecost and Wadsworth for that part was one of the best I’ve seen on stage! It broke me, as they were both broken as well. I just don’t remember it being like that back in 2008 when I last saw this show.
I must also mention that Sarah McNicholas gave a very solid and emotional “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” as that part really rips your heart out as well. I don’t think I am selling this very well at the moment, with all the emotional parts and tears. But honestly it is worth it, not many shows can manage to make you that emotional and really touch you, but Evita still does.
It still has a few dates left on the current UK tour and this is a show (and cast) which started in the West End. Something quite unique when it comes to the touring versions of shows. I really do recommend this one highly, so see more dates here. You will not be disappointed with this one. I bought tickets at the very last-minute and so pleased that I did!