On Saturday I headed to London for a girly day with my mum. A spot of shopping over at Westfield Stratford followed by a theatre trip: fab, right? With it being my birthday in less than a fortnight this was an early celebration, and Evita was my first choice. I’d heard not-so-great things about it, but I’ve wanted to see it on stage for years so it had to be done!
Whilst I don’t want to be overly negative, because I didn’t not enjoy it, but there were three key changes that I’d have made before relaunching the well-loved show on the West End stage.
Honestly, the set design was a little dull for my taste. I understand that limited engagements don’t have the same budget, but I thought more could’ve been done with the backdrop. Shows like An American In Paris have a pretty basic set, but rely on projections and video footage to bring the stage alive. Evita was definitely missing this!
The sound quality wasn’t brilliant. Some microphones were turned up louder than others, meaning things were missed. I found that harmonies were ruined through this, so the work of Lloyd-Webber and Rice was slightly drowned out.
But mostly, I just wanted to see the original. Emma Hatton played Evita well, but all I want to see is Elaine Paige in the title role. I know that Hatton obviously wanted to make it her own but for me, it didn’t click. For example, Buenos Aires is supposed to be an upbeat song that makes me want to get up and dance, but instead it barely got a toe tap. Sometimes the original is best.
Unfortunately for me, before seeing the show I’d heard people tell me it wasn’t very good. Those aspects stuck with me and the negatives stuck out to me. Note to self: don’t listen to people who saw the original in the 70s! Evita is only running until Saturday so you’ll have to be quick if you don’t want to miss it.