Evita, one of the world’s greatest musicals, returns to London’s West End after 21 years this summer. Directed by the award-winning Michael Grandage and featuring lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the brand new production of the smash-hit stage show will run from from Friday 2nd June and has its Press Night at the Adelphi Theatre on 21st June.
“I am delighted to welcome Michael Grandage and his team to the show which was the pinnacle of my collaboration with Tim Rice” says Andrew Lloyd Webber “and it promises to be an exciting summer.”
Michael Grandage is the artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse. His most recent work includes the critically acclaimed The Wild Duck, Guys and Dolls and his Olivier nominated production of Don Carlos. He also won the coveted Best Director Olivier Award for Caligula, the Evening Standard Award for Grand Hotel (Best Director) and the Critics’ Circle Award (Best Director) for As You Like It.
Working with Michael Grandage are an impressive creative team and cast including the exciting Argentinean discovery Elena Roger as Eva, Philip Quast as Peron and Matt Rawle as Che. Musical Supervisor is Simon Lee (English National Opera’s On the Town, The Woman in White) and Choreographer Rob Ashford (Guys and Dolls, Thoroughly Modern Millie).
“Evita is such a rich musical that Michael Grandage’s new production can show a different side to Hal Prince’s ground-breaking original,” says producer André Ptaszynski. “We are bringing colour, dance and a new Argentina to London audiences.”
The show is produced by The Really Useful Theatre Company whose previous credits include Cats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Starlight Express and the Olivier Award-winning The Phantom of the Opera.
Evita is based on the life and times of Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine dictator Juan Perón. It chronicles her life as Argentina’s most complex and powerful figure, against a backdrop of political unrest, until her tragic death of cancer in 1952.
Evita features many classic songs including “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” and “Another Suitcase in Another Hall”. This new production will also feature the Oscar winning “You Must Love Me” for the first time ever on stage. Written especially for Alan Parker’s 1996 film adaptation starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas, it became a Top Ten single immediately on release that year.
Following their success with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber began working on Evita in 1974. Originally released as a concept album, with great success in the album and singles charts, the first stage production of Evita opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1978 and set the record for the highest box office advance in West End History, running for seven consecutive years.
Elena Roger as Eva
Elena Roger was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she appeared in musical theatre productions such as Saturday Night Fever, Les Misérables, Beauty and the Beast and Nine With several TV appearances in her homeland, she recently won the ACE critics’ award for Best Actress.
Philip Quast as Peron
Philip has won three Laurence Olivier Awards for his performances in Sunday in the Park with George, The Fix and South Pacific, as well as several awards in his native Australia.
Other performances include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Stuff Happens at The National Theatre, The Secret Garden, Troilus And Cressida, Macbeth, White Devil and A Christmas Carol for The Royal Shakespeare Company.
Matt Rawle as Che
Matt is an accomplished actor who has appeared in West End productions of Miss Saigon, Martin Guerre, Into the Woods and Hard Times – The Musical.
Other stage credits include South Pacific, Camelot at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Les Misérables, Hello Again at The Bridewell and Stephen Sondheim’s Putting it Together.
Evita will be produced by André Ptaszynski for The Really Useful Theatre Company. André won four Olivier Best Musical Awards and one Evening Standard Best Musical Award in the 1990s. He produced over 50 shows in all before his appointment as Chief Executive of Really Useful Theatres in 2000. In December 2005 he was appointed acting Chief Executive of The Really Useful Group.
Simon Lee, Musical Supervisor
Simon’s extensive experience as a Musical Supervisor includes the 2005 film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera (directed by Joel Schumacher), Bjork: Live At The Royal Opera, the Emmy Award Winning Jesus Christ Superstar and Cats.
As a conductor, he has recorded albums with Julian Lloyd Webber, Michael Ball and Bjork, as well as many soundtracks and original cast recordings. His international theatre accreditations include The Mikado and On the Town for the English National Opera, The Woman in White; Tell Me on a Sunday; The Beautiful Game; Notre Dame de Paris; Jesus Christ Superstar and Romance Romance.
Rob Ashford, Choreographer
Rob Ashford is currently choreographing the West End revival of Guys and Dolls. He is the Tony Award winning choreographer of Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway which garnered the 2002 Tony Award for Best Musical. For The National Theatre in London, Ashford choreographed A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. His performance credits include Parade, Crazy For You, Most Happy Fella, My Favorite Year, and Anything Goes.
On screen, Ashford’s choreography can be seen in the feature film, Beyond the Sea, starring and directed by Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey.
Christopher Oram, Designer
A prolific and multi award-winning designer, Christopher Oram’s work includes the critically acclaimed Caligula, for which he won the Evening Standard’s Best Stage Design Award, The Tempest, Richard III, Don Juan, Edward II, The Country Wife, Six Degrees of Separation and As You Like It.
He has also won Olivier Awards for Best Costume Design (Power) and Best Musical (Merrily We Roll Along). Other associated stage productions include Macbeth, The Jew of Malta, Suddenly Last Summer, The Vortex and The Embalmer.
Paule Constable, Lighting Director
A graduate of Goldsmiths’ College, London, Paule also trained in lighting design. She is the winner of the 2005 Olivier Award for Best Lighting (His Dark Materials, The National Theatre) and has had further Olivier Award nominations for her lighting designs in the West End production of Don Carlos, The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Uncle Vanya and The National Theatre’s Play Without Words.
Other recent theatre productions include The National Theatre’s Coram Boy, The Royal Shakespeare Company’s As You Like It and numerous operas such as Le Nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto and Carmen.
Mick Potter, Sound Design
Winner of the 2005 Best Sound Design Olivier Award for The Woman in White, Mick Potter’s extensive career includes the original productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, Song and Dance and Starlight Express as well as Little Shop of Horrors and Matador.
He has since worked extensively as a freelance sound designer in both Theatre and Opera. Other credits include Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me on a Sunday, Scrooge The Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar UK Tour, the world premieres of Bombay Dreams and Saturday Night Fever, plus a new production of Hair. His most recent work features in the largest ever production of The Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas.
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