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Evita, Adelphi London 2006

Read what the press said about the 2006 London production of Evita and the UK touring production of the show.

UK tour, from 2008

“Rachael Wooding, who plays Evita, dazzled in her heart stopping portrayal of the great lady herself.”

Rebecca Cain, Bucks Free Press, Evita at The Wycombe Swan

“Rachael Wooding has talent in every inch of her petite frame, superbly capturing the sensual, almost predatory quality of Eva, and the Achilles heel to Mark Heenehan (Perón), with his imposing stature and terrific voice…”

“Any Dream Will Do finalist Seamus Cullen turns in an edgy performance as observer Che, and Nikki Mae’s rendition of Another Suitcase in Another Hall, was particularly moving…”

Lynda Smart,, Evita at De Montfort Hall, Leicester

Adelphi Theatre, London 2006

“This Evita is set to dazzle.”
“A dazzling British debut.”
“Much of the choreography is based on the Tango, and Lloyd Webber’s new orchestrations also have a distinctly South American flavour.”
“It’s brilliantly cynical, witty lyrics.”
“Philip Quast is impressive.”
“The evening belongs to [Elena] Roger, who is mesmerising from the beginning.”
“Grandage’s edgy staging has the kind of choreography by Rob Ashford that manages to advance the drama without bringing it to a grinding halt.”
“All in all this is a brilliant rediscovery of a show.”
Sheridan Morley, Daily Express – Thursday 22 June

“Roger is quite a revelation.”
“The stately marble and elegant iron fretwork of Christopher Oram’s set.”
“The show’s variations on the tango are another strength.”
“It’s rare and refreshing to get a musical that, as well as being awash with alluring music, interests itself in politics.”
“This riveting show.”
Benedict Nightingale, The Times – Thursday 22 June

“Tiny though she be… Argentine Senorita Roger is big, big news. She opened in the lead in Evita last night and she’s going to make this fine musical a great hooter of a hit all over again.”
“A top star.”
“What she has is a sparky charge of talent.”
“Don’t cry for her: she’s sensational!”
“This is a first rate Evita.”
“Paule Constable’s lighting throws beautiful browns and yellows on to Christopher Oram’s grand Buenos Aires balconies.”
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail – Thursday 22 June

“Oh, what a show!”
“The piece not only survives but thrives on the violent eruption of reality that comes in the diminutive shape of Elena Roger.”
“Roger is simply sensational.”
“Every electrifying high-kick and tumbling teasing phrase in that furious samba-extravaganza (Buenos Aires).”
“Ms Roger has… a clarion voice capable of thrilling shrillness and of a pensive purity.”
“Michael Grandage’s one of our best directors… his powerful production is full of acid humour.”
“Philip Quast, who is in excellent voice, makes a wonderfully uneasy President.”
“Ms Roger’s extraordinary performance.”
Paul Taylor, The Independent- Thursday 22 June

“Rice’s lyrics… verbally nimble.”
“Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, which is tunefully beguiling.”
“They (the songs) are some of Lloyd Webber’s best and many have been enhanced by new orchestrations filled with Tango textures.”
“Elena Roger… dances with real verve. She occupies the stage by right rather than default and captures all of Eva’s iron-willed determination.”
“Christopher Oram’s design sumptuously re-creates the wrought-iron balconies and architectural grandeur of Buenos Aires’ central plaza.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian – Thursday 22 June

“Elena Roger glows with star quality in the lead role of Evita. Her frail physique dominates the stage with a tremendous presence while the ensemble is first rate.”
“Evita stages a grand revival.”
“With its sharp witty lyrics by Tim Rice and one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s finest, through-sung scores.”
“An outstanding revival from Michael Grandage.”
“A socking great star performance from the diminutive, authentically Argentinian actress Elena Roger.”
“Neither Rice nor Lloyd Webber has ever been better than they are here.”
“The subject matter allows him (ALW) to explore the tango and Latin American rhythms superbly.”
“Almost every song is memorable.”
“’Another Suitcase in Another Hall’, beautifully sung here by Lorna Want.”
“Rob Ashford’s dazzling and sometimes sizzlingly erotic choreography.”
“Elena Roger’s tiny and apparently frail Evita dominates the stage with tremendous presence.”
“In short she (Elena Roger) has exactly the star quality the role requires.”
“Strong support from Philip Quast… and Matt Rawle… while the ensemble is first rate.”
“I have a strong suspicion that Evita is going to be a huge and durable hit all over again.”
Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph – Thursday 22 June

“I have fallen head over heels for Evita again, with Michael Grandage’s dynamic production offering a charismatic title-role performance, ripe for superlatives, by unknown Argentinian Elena Roger.”
“Lloyd Webber’s music swoons in heartfelt fashion all over Evita as if she were Puccini’s Mimi.”
“The exultant excitement of A New Argentina, which concludes the first act in climatic ecstasy.”
“Matt Rawle’s fine, handsome Che.”
“Tension sophistication and sense of satirical mockery.”
“’Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’… comes at you with such waves of emotion.”
“When Miss Roger comes out onto the long balcony… Rice’s lyrics and Lloyd Webber’s music work beautifully together.”
“Miss Roger… rises up strong, fervent and passionate.”
“Miss Roger, all vulnerability and cunning, with enough sex appeal and raw erotic energy to snare half a government, initially sports dark hair, a terrific dancing technique and a taste for young men.”
“Philip Quast’s impressive voice.”
“Her (Roger’s) performance…. brought first nighters to their feet.”
Nicholas De Jongh, Evening Standard – Thursday 22 June

Sir David Frost: “Her [Elena Roger] performance was stunning, absolutely stunning.”
Angela Rippon: “I think it was an absolutely outstanding evening.”
London Today – Thursday 22 June

“It was just brilliant.”
“I can’t recommend this show highly enough, 10 out of 10, really good.”
“Elena Roger is just brilliant.”
Lee Shaun, Sky News – Thursday 22 June

“Here [Michael Grandage’s] pitch is spot on: he combines majesty and Latin American romanticism.”
“The man sitting behind me even sang along once or twice, which is some accolade considering that he was Rod Stewart.”
Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times – Friday 23 June

“A tremendous piece of musical theatre.”
“Michael Grandage’s beautifully judged production.”
“The ensemble cast also add depth and colour, especially with their spirited tango moves.”
“Elena Roger is a revelation… she dominates centre stage.”
“Philip Quast (in impressive voice as Péron).”
“Her vocal range eases her from purring sensuality to full-throated roar…she’s also a talented and energetic dancer.”
“The fact you come out humming those famous numbers is down to Rice and Lloyd Webber’s brilliance on this, their best collaboration.”
“But Roger’s command of the role will stay with you just as strongly. Madge, eat your heart out.”
Metro – Friday 23 June

“Michael Grandage’s pulse-racing revival.”
“Such electrifying energy needs a source, and it’s got it in triple threat dynamo Elena Roger as Eva.”
“When Elena Roger sings, “put me down for a lifetime of success,” not a soul in the audience is likely to disagree.”
“The show is not a star vehicle but a serious theatrical event.”
“The marvellously relaxed, sardonic Matt Rawle.”
“Choreographer Rob Ashford, Lloyd Webber and dance arranger David Chase have reconceived the score, the composer’s most inventive, as Latin American, not just in rhythmic changes but in the whole tone. The show now has sounds of the accordion, of soft guitars and shimmering harp effects; the tango takes over as the musical motor.”
“Out goes the literal-mindedness; in comes imagination.”
“Philip Quast’s full-voiced, mightily powerful Peron.”
“She and Grandage’s seamless production are going to dominate this stage and the West End musical for a seriously long time.”
David Benedict, – Thursday 22 June

“This tiny Evita is a huge star.”
“Elena Roger proves herself every inch, and some, to be a worthy first lady of musical theatre.”
“Her flashing eyes, wide smile, belting voice, sex appeal and sheer force of personality blow you away. What’s more, she doesn’t just dance up a storm, she tangoes up a tempest.”
“Michael Grandage’s terrific, atmospheric production is superbly staged on Christopher Oram’s stuccoed palazzos and wrought-iron balconies of Buenos Aires in the Fifties.”
“Excellent Matt Rawle.”
“’Another Suitcase in Another Hall’ is beautifully sung by Lorna Want.”
Evita’s triumph – Roger’s triumph – is that you believe she loved the people as ferociously as they worshipped her.”
“A sensational hit, all over again.”
Georgina Brown, The Mail on Sunday – Sunday 25 June

“The second coming of Evita is triumphant thanks to hotter Latin beats and its fiery new star.”
“A huge new Argentinian star in Elena Roger.”
“Michael Grandage’s rapid, dusky, rough-tongued production is a revelation.”
“Lloyd Webber’s re-orchestrated music, by turn swooning and brassy but always terminally catching, transmits her glamour, ruthlessness and ersatz emotion.”
“Rice’s lyrics are wonderfully spicy and precise.”
“Elena Roger is brilliantly varied. She looks like a humming bird – tiny, darting, brightly coloured – but sounds sometimes like a nightingale, sometimes like a parakeet. She seduces in a murmur.”
“Philip Quast is impressive.”
“Whip-sharp dance scenes choreographed by Rob Ashford.”
“Christopher Oram’s beautiful and grandiloquent design.”
Susannah Clapp, The Observer – Sunday 25 June

“Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s masterpiece.”
“Revived in a spectacular production.”
“Michael Grandage’s lush and epic staging.”
“Christopher Oram’s beautifully recreated courtyard.”
“Choreographer Rob Ashford providing a gorgeous tapestry of continuous movement of waltzes and tangos.”
“Lloyd Webber’s best score has been given new, Latin-inflected orchestrations that make dazzling melodies like ‘I’d Be Surprisingly Good For You’, ‘High Flying Adored’ and ‘Buenos Aires’ freshly powerful.”
“Eva Peron lives again, and will do so for some time to come.”
Mark Shenton, Sunday Express – Sunday 25 June

“There never has been a musical quite as dramatically exciting as Evita.”
“Oh what a journey – from fairy-tale romance to human tragedy in a tango-ride, and whenever Elena Roger’s Evita sings, hearts soar way above Buenos Aires, let alone the Adelphi Theatre stalls.”
“It takes two to tango, but it’s taken Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to turn the story of Eva Peron into an sensual dance of life and death.”
Roger Foss, LBC97.3, The Steve Allen Show

“Roger is a tiny, dynamic dancer with a big smile and a voice that can be both strident and stunningly clear.”
“Matt Rawle as Che gives an impressive performance.”
“The ensemble not only appears authentically Latin American but they also tango with a strong and sexy grace.”
“Grandage keeps the action flowing.”
Time Out, 28 June 2006


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