I FIRST discovered Evita when I was eight-years-old and I was dragged to the cinema against my will by my mum.
Even though I did not really understand the plot as a small child, I loved Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's score, which I then played repeatedly making my mum regret taking me in the first place.
It has been a good 15 years since I last listened to the Evita soundtrack but it all came rushing back this week when I went to see the UK tour of Evita at the Wycombe Swan Theatre, in St Mary Street, High Wycombe.
I thought I only remembered the well-known song Don't Cry for Me Argentina but I actually remembered all of the songs in Act 1, almost word for word, and was singing and tapping along with joy.
Evita has an absolutely fantastic soundtrack that gets stuck in your head for days and days after. In this production, the soundtrack is really done justice by the strong singing voices in the cast, especially Madalena Alberto who plays Eva Peron. The Portuguese actress is no stranger to the stage after playing Fantine in Les Miserable’s 25th anniversary show, and her performance previous to Evita as French singer Edith Piaf.
Madalena stole the show and belted out all her songs with perfection. At times it was so good I was convinced that it had to be a CD playing, but it was just Madalena's extraordinarily talented voice. She really put 110 per cent into her performance and was born to play the role of Evita.
Another talented singer in the show was Peron's mistress played by Sarah McNicholas. She only has one solo song in the show, Another Suitcase in Another Hall which is one of my favourites, but wow, she really makes you remember her five minutes in the spotlight with that magnificent performance. It is a shame we did not get to hear more of this beautiful voice.
The show's big name was Wet Wet Wet's Marti Pellow who plays Che. Marti looked very comfortable on the stage and really gave it his all taking on some powerful numbers.
While Marti is very talented and has a great voice, there was just something about him in this role that I did not quite like. I am just not sure he is best suited to the role and at times I found it a slight struggle to make-out the words he was singing.
Overall the UK tour of Evita was a spectacular performance that would not be out of place in the West End. It is packed with dazzling dancing, beautiful costumes, impressive sets and superb songs.
If you are looking for an entertaining evening at the theatre, make sure you go and see Evita. You won't be disappointed.
Evita is at the Wycombe Swan until Saturday, May 31 at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.
Tickets cost £23 to £39.
For tickets visit www.wycombeswan.co.uk.
Evita will then be at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on Monday, July 14 to Saturday, July 19 at 7.30pm with a Thursday and Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.
Tickets cost £11.90 to £41.90.
For tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/Aylesbury.