Lincoln actors prepare for Evita shows in group’s 70th year

Two local teachers and a staff member from Lincoln hospital will be among the cast helping bring a much-loved musical to life at Lincoln’s New Theatre Royal next month.

Society Chair Eira Hammond and Director Janie Smith from The County Amateur Operatic Dramatic Society (CAODS Lincoln) proposed to stage the iconic musical Evita as part of the company’s 70’th anniversary celebrations.

A local cast ranging from age five to 80 will perform CAODS’ amateur production between November 8 and 16. An orchestra of 19 – under the direction of David Williams – will perform on stage, along with an ensemble of over 70 people.

CAODS will perform their amateur production of Evita at Lincoln’s New Theatre Royal.

Tickets can be booked via the New Theatre Royal box office or online here, but they are selling quickly.

Tickets for stalls and the circle are £20, and there are also tickets available for the balcony at £15 with a slightly restricted view.

Helen Evans, who is playing the lead role of Eva Peron, and company. Photo: Lester McKone/CAODS

The cast

Evita charts the rise of Eva Peron from poor girl of the pampas to First Lady of Argentina, with a well-known soundtrack including ‘Don’t Cry for me, Argentina’.

Helen Evans, who is a teacher by day, will play the lead role of Eva Peron. Helen performed in two previous productions for CAODS – The King and I and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Juan Peron will be played by Matt Brian, who has previously performed in a lot of amateur musicals.

David Andrew Warman, who is playing Che, and company. Photo: Lester McKone/CAODS

Experienced musical director David Andrew Warman, who works at Lincoln County Hospital, will be making his first major acting debut in the role of Che.

Alan Trevor previously worked with Janie in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar at Lincoln Cathedral, which she co-directed. He will play Magaldi.

Lincoln teacher Emma Wighton, who starred Ain the King and I for CAODS, will play Peron’s mistress.

Emma Wighton, who is starring as Peron’s mistress, and company. Photo: Lester McKone/CAODS

The production

The process of the production began back in April 2019 with a launch at the New Theatre Royal, where a lot of people expressed their interest in being involved.

Casting and auditioning followed before three full-day workshops were carried out. Rehersals then started in June, three times a week, and will increase with the show’s first date looming in a few weeks.

Director Janie Smith told The Lincolnite people can expect to see something that “they probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to see professionally”.

She said: “For people in Lincoln to be able to go to a theatre and hear this particular musical, played by 19 amazing musicians, with an ensemble of nearly 70, is something they wouldn’t get elsewhere.

“We have an interesting concept for the staging and design, which is to open up the stage so the audience will see into the wings. They will see the theatre and the stage in a way they probably won’t have seen it used before. It’s a very moving piece of theatre.”

Maisie Noorpuri and company. Photo: Lester McKone/CAODS

Janie describes Evita as Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “most complex musical” and is feeling “really excited and very positive” about the upcoming shows.

She added: “I’m delighted to see a large diverse group of people from age five to 80 coming together to create this piece of work. We are now looking forward to joining that last bit of the circle, which is the audience as they are the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle.”