Published on 23 January 2018

The British theatre actress tells The A List what it’s like taking on such a seminal role.

By Melanie Lee

Playing Argentine first lady Eva Peron is a role of a lifetime, a role that has been played by the likes of Faye Dunaway. Patti LuPone, and Madonna. For British actress Emma Kingston, taking on this role in EVITA, the iconic musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber that is making its Asian premier in Singapore next month, is one she relishes. She tells us more.

How did you get this role?
I was sent a casting notice through from my agent and I had to put myself on tape singing “Buenos Aires” and “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”.

Two weeks after sending the tape, my agent called saying Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice and Hal Prince have all watched my tape and wanted me to play Eva.

In what ways are you like Eva Peron?
Both of us are ambitious. I strive to be the best in everything I do and Eva is exactly like that as well. However, I differ from her when it comes to having a thirst for power. I just want to be the best for myself and make my family and friends proud. Eva wanted the world at her feet, she wanted to lead a country and was quite ruthless in getting her way.

In what ways is Eva Peron a role model for women?
She was the only woman in the Argentine government. It is inspiring for young girls to see a powerful woman do so well. Eva also helped Argentinian women gain the right to vote in their country – I definitely admire her for that.

Why do you think Evita has become such a popular musical worldwide?
The subject matter is timeless: a rags-to-riches story following a young girl’s rise to the top. Even without the political backdrop of the story, the relationship between her and her husband Person, as well as her relationship with her country, is something everyone can relate to. Also, the music is completely sensational! The musical, which first came out in1978, was ahead of its time and is still unbelievably current.

How do you feel about performing in Singapore?
I am so excited to come to Singapore, it will be my first time! I’m excited to present the show to a new audience. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Singapore – how friendly the people are, how safe and clean everything is and how beautiful the country is. I can’t wait to explore. My family is also coming to Singapore and we already have a lot planned like having breakfast with the Orangutans, Universal Studios, and exploring local cuisine and culture. I want to experience as much as I can.

How do you protect your voice and health while on tour?
I try to be very healthy by exercising and eating well. I drink a lot of water – it’s essential to stay hydrated to keep a healthy working voice. And nothing beats a good night’s sleep!

EVITA will be playing at MasterCard Theatre at Marina Bay Sands from 23 February – 11 March 2018. Click here for more information.

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