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Evita | Review

By Grace Taylor

Rating: 4/5

This week, I had the privilege of attending the AOC Productions performance of the iconic musical Evita at the Tivoli Theatre. Knowing little about the musical going in, I had no idea what was in store. I was excited to see why the musical is so renowned. 

Image provided by Aberdeen Performing Arts

The musical centres on the life of Eva Perón—the former First Lady and second wife of Argentine President Juan Perón. The story follows Eva’s journey from a poor girl in rural Argentina to an influential political figure until her untimely death at 33. Created by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, it portrays her life, exploring her charisma and ambition, as well as her controversial and complicated legacy. 

Leading lady Jennifer Brown’s portrayal of Eva was nothing short of captivating. Her rendition of the show’s most well-known number, ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’, was a testament to her vocal ability.

The audience was left in awe of her immense talent. Further, the talent of other cast members, including the show’s narrator, Che (portrayed by Callum Bell) leads us through the story and acts as a mouthpiece for the working class and those who are critical of Eva’s character. And my favourite number was from Orla Woods, Juan Perón’s mistress, in ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall’.

The AOC Productions team is led by Director Aaron Thom and Musical Director Tim Tickler, both staff members at the University of Aberdeen. Their artistic expertise undoubtedly contributed to the quality of this production. Effective set design and lighting capture the story, coupled with the wonderful orchestra whose rich sound creates a powerful atmosphere and an emotional impact on the musical.

Image provided by Aberdeen Performing Arts

The musical broadly touches on the different periods in Eva’s life, which sometimes left me confused about what was happening and what year we were in. There is no dialogue—the whole story is told through song. For someone unfamiliar with the show or the storyline, it can be hard to follow. In just over 2 hours, it is hard to capture the nuance of Eva’s life, and the audience is left with a lack of context to much of the political and social aspects of the true history. I found the scene in Act One with the song ‘Goodnight And Thank You’ slightly troubling. Here, we learn of Eva’s string of “lovers”, which seems to suggest that she used her love affairs to social climb. There was an implication that Eva used her sexuality to gain social and, eventually, political power. Eva was a trailblazer - instrumental in women’s suffrage in Argentina. Webber and Rice lack a focus on the protagonist’s most significant work, painting her as callous and manipulative.

Though an ambitious musical to take on with its stellar reputation and cultural prowess, AOC Productions did not disappoint. With a talented ensemble, this adaptation provided an entertaining night, if a slightly inaccurate history lesson! One to catch before it’s too late. 

Tickets are on sale for Aberdeen until 1st May.



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