For the past few months I’ve been working with the Concept Players as Musical Director on their upcoming performance of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s “Evita”, a biomusical focussing on the life and times of Eva Peron. Under the direction of Ruairidh MacLeod-Lyon and starring Rhiannon Rose in the eponymous role, Tim Reynolds as Che and Shane Goodsir as Peron, this has been an incredible project to work on, made more so by the story’s own resonances with contemporary politics.
It’s been my first time working on a Lloyd-Webber production and, while there are clear allusions to Joseph and Cats, there are also some truly unique moments; this is a production that’s much more than it’s hit song! From my perspective it’s been fascinating to learn more about Argentina during the 40s at a time when my own historical focus is more centred on the Second World War.
Eva Perón herself certainly lead a life worthy of being represented in such a production - a true ‘rags to riches’ story, she went on to become the First Lady of Argentina, instrumental in gaining the right to vote for Argentine women, and even becoming the first Argentine woman to have chemotherapy. The musical itself also deals with the birth and rise of Peronism, a political movement founded by Juan Perón and wife dealing with which still resonates in Argentina today (when it’s legal for a Peronist to run for office!).
‘Evita’ runs at the Borough Theatre, Abergavenny from Wednesday 8 March to Saturday 11 March. Tickets can be bought through the theatre’s box office and website.