Wednesday, June 26

Evita

- November 1, 2018

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical story of Eva Peron is perhaps their best work and almost definitely the one the can justify being classed as a rock opera. And in saying that it requires performers who can combine that rock edge with the vocal skills required for some of their most complex and rhythmically challenging work.

Lucy O’Byrne can certainly do just that – and in spades. The TV competition runner up has certainly found her place in British musical theatre and more than deserves this challenging leading role. From her very first entrance as the naive but driven Eva to her sainted triumph and eventual demise she nails it. It’s not only in the voice, that is apparent as she scales the soaring score with ease, but it is in her acting too, no mean feat for such a young performer. Her Eva is quite extraordinarily compelling, ambitious of course but fragile too.

Glenn Carter’s Che narrates with ease but at times I wanted to hear more edge to his voice, more anger and cynicism too. The rest of the company are exemplary and full marks to the production team who deliver the sound and lighting with artistry, every note and every word has clarity and the massive set simply appears and fades away with elegant ease. This touring production has everything one might expect in a West End theatre.

But it is Lucy O’Byrne who steals the show with  a performance that makes one wonder why ever the Hollywood moguls thought that a pop star was up to this role.

Theatre Royal Brighton

31 October

Andrew Kay

[rating: 5/5}


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