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Theatre Review (Singapore): ‘Evita’

Base Entertainment presented Evita, by writer-lyricist Tim Rice and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, at the Marina Bay Sands Theatre from February 23rd to March 18th 2018.

The long-running musical tells the tale of Eva Perón, first lady of Argentina, and her rise to power.

Taking on the lead role in this production was Emma Kingston, who displayed a clear and forceful singing voice that appeared effortless and smooth. The singing by Isabella Jane who played Juan Perón’s mistress and Jonathan Roxmouth who portrayed the narrator Che was equally exquisite and a delight to hear.

However, it was a shame that most of the lyrics from the cast as a whole could hardly be made out by the audience. Either because of the theatre’s sound system, malfunctioning mics on that day, or perhaps a lack of clarity in the performers’ enunciation, this critic couldn’t make out a lot of the lines, which made some scenes confusing. For example, it wasn’t clear who Evita was admonishing in Juan’s bed as we couldn’t hear her lines clearly. It was only later that we realised it was his mistress.

Other scenes also left audiences unclear as to what was happening due to the poor sound quality. This made the experience of this production less enjoyable as it made the narrative confounding and therefore boring and unexciting.

In some ways, the story as a whole is one that feels dated and un-engaging, and other than the popular song “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” and “Another Suitcase in Another Hall,” the other songs here lacked good or memorable melodies.

The set and costumes were stunning though. Pity that the story and songs weren’t better, or more relevant.

About Sharmila Melissa Yogalingam

Ex-professor, Ex-phd student, current freelance critic, writer and filmmaker.

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