Evita is the Fareham Musical Society’s first big show since 2019 and it’s at the New Theater Royal in Portsmouth

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Their home cinema – Ferneham Hall – also closed in early 2020, and a new room is to be built in its place.

And the business was a week away from opening Hairspray when the lockdown hit.

Now they perform at the New Theater Royal in Portsmouth and are back with the Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice classic Evita.

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Grace Campbell as Eva Peron with Jonathan Redwood as Juan Peron in rehearsal. Photo by Tristan Redwood

Based on the life of María Eva Duarte de Perón, it tells the story of a poor Argentine girl who grows up to be the wife of the President of Argentina, revered by her people. A young revolutionary, Ché, recounts the rise and fall of the beloved matriarch of the Argentine people.

The role made Elaine Paige a star in her West End debut in 1978, and Madonna played her in Alan Parker’s film version in 1996.

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Now FMS veteran Grace Campbell is taking on the daunting role.

Left to right: Stuart Frank as Che, Graeme Clements as Magaldi and Grace Campbell as Eva Peron, in rehearsal. Photo by Tristan Redwood

She says: “Rehearsals were really good – really great fun, we struggled a bit with Covid, but everything seems to be back on track.

“It’s been really good to get back to doing a real show.

“I’ve done a few shows since things got a little more back to normal, but the last big musical I was in was ours.”

Grace has appeared in recent adaptations of Sherlock Holmes from the drama wing of society as Mary Watson, and she adds: ‘I also ended up in Agatha Christie’s last play because someone caught Covid , so I stepped in at the last minute, just to make it even more fun!’

But she has fun cutting her teeth in the role of Eva Peron.

‘It’s incredible. There is no other role quite like her. It’s so intense from start to finish – but it’s so much fun. It’s a lot of pressure to sing those iconic songs, and she was such an amazing woman.

“It’s been amazing trying to get to know her and learning more about her and her story.

“I’ve seen the film many times, and I saw it when it came to the Mayflower (starring stage star Emma Hatton in the role) in 2017.

“I tried to put my own stamp on the role, but where she was a real person, you always have to try to be true to her as well.

‘While I love drawing inspiration from some of the other amazing women who have played her, it’s nice to be able to step back and go: what do I think of her and how would I portray her- I ?

“I looked at his life and the situation in Argentina at the time – it’s very complicated, it’s a lot to understand, especially when you haven’t really looked at that part of the world before.”

Her co-stars are also household names.

“Jonathan Redwood, who plays Peron, he plays Sherlock Holmes in all of our plays, and I’ve played alongside Stuart Frank, who plays Che – we were Sandy and Danny together in Grease, so I know them all very well.

‘I think we’re in a good place, and being with the group will bring it all together.’

The company is also offering free tickets to NHS staff.

They say: ‘As a business, we are all acutely aware that without the truly amazing work of our incredible NHS over the past two years, being able to get back to what we all love and do best might have taken even longer. long time.

“Therefore, as our way of saying thank you, we are bringing you this promotional offer…”

Show proof of NHS employment at the ticket office for your free ticket.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron

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