Review: Chesterfield Operatic Society’s production of Evita

Elections are fast approaching and ambitious candidates are determined to win at all costs.

In a timely nod to the battle for political supremacy, Chesterfield Operatic Society is presenting the tale of a power-hungry woman who rose from abject poverty to become Argentina’s iconic first lady.

Chesterfield operatic production of Evita.

Chesterfield operatic production of Evita.

There’s a lot riding on the production of Evita at the town’s Pomegranate Theatre until Saturday, April 25, not least the reputation of the society which is the first musical theatre company in Derbyshire to be granted the licence to perform this show.

Sue Higgins is well cast as the diminutive Eva who has big dreams of power. She gives a commanding performance as President Peron’s wife with a rousing speech to her adoring subjects and a moving version of the show’s signature song Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.

In the early stages of the show’s opening night on Tuesday, the might of the music occasionally overwhelmed Sue’s voice but the balance was redressed in the ballads where her voice could be heard in all its glory.

Davron Hicks lights up the stage with numbers such as Oh What A Circus and High Flying Adored in a powerhouse of a performance as narrator Che and his big presence complements that of leading lady Sue.

Danny Winson exudes a fitting air of authority as president Peron who makes actress Eva’s dreams come true, Andy Moore enchants as the crooner Magaldi who is teenage Eva’s first boyfriend and Jessica Sharratt ,playing Peron’s mistress, shows she has all the makings of a first lady of musical theatre with a delightful performance of Another Suitcase In Another Hall.

Impressive chorus singing and dancing make Evita a vote-winner with the audience and a resounding triumph for musical director Jonathan Francis, director Phil Simcox and chorographers Julie Metclfe and Paula Wilson.

Photo by Ian Boler