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Student Contributions

Chris Weale
Upper Sixth
East Town



Andrew Lloyd Webber has created many a famous play over the course of his illustrious career. One of these incredible theatrical pieces, and one which will feature in the Redgrave Theatre next week, is Evita.

Having achieved worldwide recognition, and having been performed the world over, the play is one which combines all the joys of modern theatre, whilst still encompassing the meaning and sentiments which Webber intended all the way back in 1978 on the night of the first performance. The story follows the trials and tribulations of the Argentinian leader, Eva Peron.

During any given performance of the musical, the audience is treated to the delights of songs which include the famous Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina. The musical director for the play who worked so well with Andrew Lloyd Webber, was Tim Rice.

Upon the raising of the curtain, one sees a cinema in Buenos Aires — one in which the feature film is A Film in Buenos Aires. And it is then that one hears the narrator, Che Guevara, analyse the way in which the Argentinian public reacted to the death of Evita. We are then duly introduced to a teenage Evita as she was in year 1934, having had her first romance with Agustín Magaldi. As the first Act unfolds, one discovers the hopes, ambitions and desires of Evita — a character whose complexity augments with the unravelling of the plot. Che continues to narrate the progression of Evita from a model through to a budding actress. It also happens that the audience is introduced to the figure of Colonel Juan Domingo Perón who was making his way up the Argentinian political hierarchy.

An earthquake hits the town of San Juan, and Perón creates a concert at the Luna Park to give assistance to those suffering. Eva pitches up and reconvenes with Agustín Magaldi, who rejects her due to her previous deeds. Perón speaks to the crowd encouragingly. He meets Eva as he leaves. Eva and Perón have a clandestine meeting after the event, where Eva offers to help Perón attain power. Eva dismisses Perón’s mistress, who considers the rejection.

After moving in with Perón, Eva is introduced to high society, but she is met with disdain from the upper classes and the Argentine Army (“Perón’s Latest Flame”). In 1946, Perón launches his presidential bid after being promoted to general in the army and while in bed with Eva, he discusses his chances at winning the election. Eva reassures him and soon they organize rallies where the people show their support and hope for a better future, while in the sidelines Perón and his allies plot to dispose of anyone who stands in their way (“A New Argentina”).

Perhaps an entire description of the plot here is inappropriate since it would stop one from experiencing the play’s twists and turns for one’s self. As we have seen from its productions on Broadway and in the West End, Evita is a play which enjoys international recognition. I implore all of those who have an interest in culture to visit the Redgrave Theatre this week not only to be entertained, but to learn.

7 November 2011

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