We’ve written elsewhere on this site about the difficulty in getting one of the ‘crown jewel’ shows. But every now and then all the calls and pleading pay off. And so, in October 2019, we’re excited to bring Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita to Abingdon.
The show tells the story of Eva Perón and her love affair with the people of Argentina in the late 1940s. It must have seemed a strange subject to choose to follow up the success of Jesus Christ, Superstar, and when Rice first suggested it to Lloyd Webber, he turned the idea down.
But in 1976, the pair released a concept album called ‘Evita’, with Julie Covington singing the role of Eva and Colm Wilkinson as Che. The first single from the album, ‘Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina’, went to number 1 in the UK charts, and a full staging of the show became inevitable.
Evita opened in the West End in 1978, with Elaine Paige as Evita and David Essex as Che, and ran for over 3,000 performances. The show also ran for 1,500 performances on Broadway. In 1996 it was turned into a movie, with Madonna taking the starring role.
Since then it has toured around the world in professional productions, with very few full amateur societies being given the opportunity to perform it. Which explains why we had so much interest from our membership when the show was announced. Now we have a fantastic principal cast in place and we’re all looking forward to working hard at rehearsals and a fabulous show in October 2019.