1940s-style musical in PE

Vuyolwethu Ndongeni

WHEN the Port Elizabeth Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s Evita stage production needed a designer to capture its iconic 1940s classic style and glamour, who better than Port Elizabeth’s very own Johan Wolmarans.

Wolmarans was chosen to design three outstanding costumes for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical Evita, which opens at the Savoy Theatre in Adcockvale tonight, for a run that extends until Saturday June 2.

On choosing Wolmarans, director Robin Williams said: “There is a specific look that Evita has, a glamorous 1940s look. She always had her hair in a blonde bun, her clothes were designer-made by famous designers, so we had to follow that theme and Johan followed that with his own theatrical flair.

“Evita’s look is not contemporary, and he understands the classic beauty of the line of a dress and how to create a classic,” Williams said.

Chireen Ferreira plays Eva Duarte, the Argentine actress who eventually became the philanthropic wife of Argentine president Juan Peron, played by Paul Leonard, with Andile “Ace” Magxaki playing Che Guevara.

Wolmarans followed the theme of the script very closely, being careful to capture the essence of the play.

“Evita is set in Argentina, so the costumes have a Latin feel that is very specific to that place.

“The detailing is very dramatic, which is important for the stage because every outfit must show off. For example, Evita’s ball gown is very big, glamorous, shiny and bling,” Wolmarans said.

He achieved the “bling-factor” with materials such as sequined lace and shimmer chiffon, which he said “were choices that work very well for the stage”.

Tickets for the show are on sale at Computicket at R110 or buy vouchers from cast members at R100. Contact Rose Cowpar, 072-906-1977 for group booking enquiries.

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