After the unbridled joy that was Mamma Mia, Evita was always going to be a hard act to follow, and any show that starts with a funeral is never going to be a barrel of laughs. It is based on the life of Evita Duarte, a B-picture Argentinian actress who eventually became the wife of Argentinian president Juan Perón, and the most beloved and hated woman in Argentina.
Made famous as a rock opera album in 1976 with the title song by Julie Covington, and the original West End cast of Elaine Paige and David Essex, the songs, Don't Cry for me Argentina and Another Suitcase, Another Hall, personified the show until Madonna (in the only decent acting role she has ever undertaken) and Antonio Banderas, made the film a huge success in 1996.
I last saw the touring production in MK about four years ago with Marti Pellow as Che, and I was not enamoured. It is not my favourite musical, but this production seemed much more stylish, and Gian Marco Schiaretti as Che, in particular, was excellent. It obviously feels very much a Lloyd-Webber/Rice collaboration, and parts were reminiscent of both Joseph and Jesus Christ Superstar.
If one is not familiar with the historical and politics of this period, the fact that it is entirely sung and slightly over-amplified makes it more difficult to understand. However, I have yet to see a stronger ensemble. The military scenes were utterly precise; the costuming was absolutely gorgeous and totally authentic, and the best vocal was understated and beautiful - Another suitcase - sung by Perón's mistress (Sarah O'Connor). What Evita (Emma Hatton) lacked in stature, she made up with gutsiness, determination and passion, and Kevin Stephen-Jones as Perón played the role to perfection.. The second half is better - this show grows on you.
Wetherspoons apply for permission to open new pub in Newport Pagnell
Wetherspoons have submitted a planning application to Milton Keynes Council to open a new pub in Newport Pagnell.
One week until Ride for Willen Cycling Sportive
There is still time to sign up for the Ride for Willen Cycling Sportive in aid of Willen Hospice, taking place at Cranfield University on Sunday 1st September.
Book your September staycation and support local charity, Henry Allen Trust
Thanks to Bletchley car garage, Anglos, you can bid for a luxury Tree House Escape Experience for September and raise money for The Henry Allen Trust.
Slug & Lettuce swings its doors open in Milton Keynes
Slug & Lettuce brings a dose of glitz and glamour to The Hub with a number of activities taking place throughout August to celebrate the doors opening.
Free DofE places for young people with SEND
Buckinghamshire young peoples’ charity Action4Youth is providing free expedition places for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) to enable them to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award.
Take to the skies and support your local Hospice
A skydive is the ultimate Bucket-List challenge and Willen Hospice is giving local people the chance to tick it off, while supporting a fantastic cause.
Mayor of MK to host basic life support course for Cancer Centre Appeal
Milton Keynes Mayor Cllr Sam Crooks is stepping outside his comfort zone this month, to help raise funds for Milton Keynes Hospital Charity’s Cancer Centre Appeal.
World-first study reveals dogs are able to detect lung infections
Medical Detection dogs, based in Milton Keynes, are able to detect ultra-low concentrations of Pseudomonas, the commonest cause of lung infection in the life-limiting inherited disease, cystic fibrosis.