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5th to 9th April 2022

EVITA - The legendary musical

TAODS brings this iconic West End musical about the life of former Argentinean first lady Eva Peron to life at the Hippodrome with this spectacular production. With music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, lyrics and book by Tim Rice and a live show orchestra under the baton of Musical Director Helen Clarkson; this promises to be a production not to be missed.

Evita follows the story of Eva Peron, the second wife of Argentinean president Juan Peron. From a life of poverty to the First Lady of Argentina, Eva Peron was hailed as the spiritual leader of the nation. Seen as the champion of the poor, her ambition, power and glamour made her the world’s first major political celebrity, winning the adoration of the people.

Evita features a chart-topping musical score including songs such as Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, Oh What a Circus, Another Suitcase in Another Hall, and the Oscar Winning You Must Love Me. With direction by Rachel Rogers and choreography by Emma Cook, the TAODS production of Evita will ​be our first major musical for almost 30 months and we can't ​wait..!

The musical was adapted into a film in 1996, starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas. The musical first opened in the West End in London 1978 and opened on Broadway in America the following year. It has won the Tony Award and Laurence Oliver Award for Best Musical.

The SMASH HIT musical EVITA is brought to the stage by the AWARD-WINNING TAODS this April at the Hippodrome Theatre.

Telling the story of Eva Perón’s rags-to-riches life as she goes from poor provincial child to First Lady of Argentina. A champion of the working-class, she uses popularity and politics to serve her people – and herself.

Based on true events and featuring some of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most iconic songs, including “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina”, this musical masterpiece is brought to life with a full show orchestra, spectacular staging and stunning choreography. This legendary show truly promises to be a theatrical event not to be missed…

Find out what our production team have to say about Evita here!

Find out what our brilliant cast have to say about rehearsals...

Isabelle Craven - Ensemble

"I can't wait to be back, prancing around the stage again with this fabulous cast!"

Craig Dagnall - Ensemble

"The feeling from the cast and rehearsals is just like Todmorden... KINDNESS" 

Iain Mackness - Augustine Magaldi

"What a show! Argentina has come to town and I can't wait for the crowds at the Tod Hippodrome to cry 'Evita Peron'"

Sue Walker - Ensemble

"It's been a while but here we go again. What a great team to be part of"

Sam Garforth - Ensemble

"Rehearsals have been brilliant - I'd got out of practice singing and coordinating arms and legs at the same time!"

Brian Walker - Ensemble

"Having a lovely time at rehearsals! Still can't dance..."

Lisa Clayton - Ensemble

"I have really enjoyed rehearsals working with this fabulous team!"

Vivien Taylor - Ensemble

"I thought I had fallen out of love with being in shows, I was wrong! I've loved every second rehearsing with friendliest cast I have ever worked with."

Rowena Green - Ensemble

"I came, I saw and hopefully I will conquer! Thanks to an amazing group of friends."

Alexandra Townend - Eva Peron

"Such a fabulous cast to be a part of. Had a blast rehearsing and can't wait to get back on stage."

Martin Cook - Juan Peron

"The Hippodrome is home from home and to be back doing what I love with the theatre family is just brilliant! Great people, Great fun, Great show!"

Joel Brown - Che

"Rehearsals have been a blast, being back on stage is long over due. Can't wait!"

Rosie Crowther - Ensemble

"It's great to be back - it's going to be really special!"

Ellie Spooner - Mistress

"Rehearsals have been so fun. I have laughed, I leapt and I've even learnt Latin!"

James Young - Ensemble

"Being in a musical seemed like a good idea at the time... it still does! Can't wait to get on stage!"

Lisa Parker - Ensemble

"Thought I was getting too old for this... but you're never too old to have so much fun! So glad to be back."

Abi Lally - Ensemble

"I have gained confidence I didn't know I had, I can't wait to get on stage."

James Claxton - Ensemble

"Back on stage after quite a break! Thrilled and terrified at the same time!"

Chris Stott - Ensemble

"It's been far too long! Can't wait to wind up the musical director for a whole week!"

Hannah Butler - Ensemble

"What a fantastic cast and production team! I can't wait to be back on stage with friends old and new"

Jennie Bailey - Ensemble

"As a TAODS newbie, this is the most professional and friendly group that I have had the privilege of being part of. It's been wonderful to sing (and learn some dance moves) but, more importantly, it's been great to make new friends."

Interview with the Production Team

Rachel Rogers - Director

So, how are rehearsals going?

Helen: "Really well considering the pressures of Covid at the start of rehearsals in January."

Rachel: "Rehearsals are going really well! The cast are very focussed and we are all just happy to be able to do what we love again"

Emma: "Now we're into the final stages, everyone is pulling together. The cast are giving their all and the support crew are beavering away in the background too... all very exciting"

Why did you choose Evita?

Helen: "We wanted a show that was really an ensemble piece to be our first musical since 2019. Although it obviously has it's leads, the company are an integral part of the story telling throughout and this cast are proving that we made the right choice".

Evita is obviously based on the history of Argentina. Has this changed your approach to directing?

Rachel: Oh good question! - I would say the only change is research. When directing I try not to watch or research a show too much as for me it is important for it to be my ideas and original. With a show based on real life characters and events you need to research the individuals and ensure that real person and time is captured.

Emma: "As choreographer I've really enjoyed looking into dance styles and their origins; for example, Flamenco being the workers' dance. Also I love digging into the history of characters and their stories - trying to find sneaky ways of building those stories into my choreography".

Emma Cook - Choreographer

What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of being a production team?

Emma: "For this show, the challenge of the music - setting dances to the tricky tempo changes, irregular rhythms and lots of different styles. Having said that, watching the cast, especially those who call themselves non-dancers, suddenly master a sequence or step they've been working on is always a really great feeling".

Helen: "Watching the progress that we make week by week. The best bit isn't necessarily show week but can be that first part of a scene or song makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up or moves you to tears; that's happened in auditions occasionally!"

You're all very experienced in the realm of theatre. What have been your proudest achievements to date?

Rachel: "There are so many!!! I would have to say that as a director it would be Mack and Mabel and the two productions of The Vicar of Dibley."

Emma: "There are so many it's hard to choose! West Side Story was one of my favourites to choreograph, particularly working with the two gangs of men, none of whom would have claimed to be dancers! RENT will always hold a special place in my heart, but I think my proudest achievement was co-directing Jesus Christ Superstar. The cast absolutely bought into what we were asking them to do - I sobbed my way through every night watching from my spot in the audience."

Helen: "Ooh tricky! there are so many! From a purely personal point of view it would be musically directing my daughter Jess as Fantine in Les Misérables and as Tracey in Hairspray. Show-wise it would be whistle down the wind with HYT and RENT and Jesus Christ Superstar with the adults. However, overall I think my proudest achievement, having been a director of our youth theatre for 30 years, is seeing people on stage and behind it who came through the youth section. Even if that does make me feel very old!

Helen Clarkson - Musical Director

What would be on your bucket list to be production team on?

Rachel: "There is one in particular, it was a concept album I heard a long time ago called Little Tramp, obviously based on the life of Charlie Chaplin. Another would be Everybody's Talking About Jamie.

Helen: "Come From Away if it ever became available for amateurs, Cabaret, Into the Woods; to be fair...It's a long list!"

Emma: "I do love a good old fashioned musical - I've always wanted to choreograph Oliver! Cabaret would be up there, as well as Blood Brothers if we ever could!"