As the opening night of Evita lies just one more sleep away, the Trinity Musical Theatre Society (TMT) rehearse for one final time before the curtain goes up and the show hits the stage. After the rehearsal, some of the cast and crew spoke to The University Times about the production and the preparation that has gone into it. After holding auditions in October, 58 students from Trinity and the Royal Irish Academy of Music were chosen to take part in the show. Now, just four months later, the cast and crew are putting the final touches to their show before it graces the stage of O’Reilly Hall later next week.
Last year, TMT put on West Side Story and it quickly became obvious that the Society was destined for immense success as the show sold out completely just before the premier. This year’s show, Evita, although lesser-known, is still, nonetheless, a huge production. Following on from the example of West Side Story, TMT promises a brilliant show.
The decision of which musical to choose and how to possibly build on from last year’s success was a difficult one for the committee of TMT. The show’s director, Seimi Campbell, told The University Times that Evita has everything that they were looking for: an incredible score, engrossing narrative and ample opportunities to embed a strong ensemble. Evita allowed for the production team and cast to have a creative license to produce something unique – a blank canvas to put their own stamp on such an infamous biographical story.
Set in Argentina in the 1950s, the show Evita chronicles the wondrous story of Argentina’s enigmatic First Lady Eva Perón: her journey from her provincial hometown to the Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires, her work and – spoiler alert – her tragic death at the young age of 33.
Even after a long day of lectures, there was a lot of energy at the rehearsal stage. There was a lively atmosphere as the cast danced to one of the shows biggest numbers “Buenos Aires”. Watching Lainey O’Sullivan, who plays Evita, shimmy across the stage whilst still managing to produce stunning vocals will leave any audience member in awe. A high sense of spirit and enthusiasm is carried throughout the show, from the dance numbers that encompass the whole cast, down to the smallest details like the facial expressions of the ensemble as they linger in the background of important, emotional scenes.
Decked out in floral dresses that look like they were plucked directly from the streets of Buenos Aires circa 1950, the cast effectively transport the viewer all the way back to the time of Eva Perón. Evita begins the show in a ruffled floral dress, blending in with the ensemble, but as the show progresses, she transitions to wearing beautiful silk dresses and billowing blue nightgowns, exhibiting her newfound glamorous lifestyle as the First Lady of Argentina. The costuming plays a pivotal role in Evita, as it reflects the story being told of Eva Perón’s evolution from an impoverished actress to a wealthy, fascinating First Lady.
Evita allowed TMT to perfectly showcase the range of talents amongst the Society’s members. The singing, dancing and acting all seem effortless, but, at the same time, reflect the work put into the show over the past four months. At the end of a show, O’Sullivan stuns with a moving ballad called “Lament”, as Jack Canavan, Oisin O’Driscoll and Louise Murray take centre stage to perform a beautiful dance arrangement.
With just one day to go, the cast expressed their excitement for people to see what they’ve been working tirelessly on for months. Campbell took a moment to thank the incredible cast, production team and committee who have worked tirelessly over the past number of months to create “something special”.
The cast and crew should be extremely proud of themselves for producing such a professional production. Every aspect of the show exhibits passion and dedication, from the perfect harmonies to the fabulous costumes. On par with any West End or Broadway production of the same show, TMT’s Evita is definitely not to be missed.
Make the right decision and go to see TMT’s dazzling production of Evita, running from February 14th to 17th in the O’Reilly Hall of Belvedere College. Tickets are available here.