INTERVIEW: Madalena Alberto is Eva Peron
Playing the powerful and controversial figure Eva Peron is not something to be taken lightly.
But Lisbon-born Madalena Alberto has readily taken on the challenging starring role in the hit musical Evita.
In fact Madalena, known to friends as Maddie, enjoys playing such a complicated character.
“In musical theatre you are rarely given the opportunity to play someone so complex so it’s a privilege really.
“I didn’t want to be influenced by the controversies surrounding her so I looked into some Argentinian documentaries about her life.
“It was important to me that I saw her from a human perspective so I could make her as human as possible.”
Enveloped in such an emotional rollercoaster of a show can be demanding on performers, but Madalena says she learns a lot from playing Eva.
“My favourite part is usually the last 15 minutes of the show when she realises she is terminally ill, because it’s not often as an actor you get the opportunity to experience those emotions.
“She goes from being so powerful and becomes reduced to nothing.
“I love singing You Must Love Me because she is full of vulnerability and fear.”
The show narrates Eva’s life from an ambitious teenager who wants to be an actress to the powerful woman who was loved by the entire Argentinian nation.
Madalena says costumes are a big factor in helping her glide into the role.
“As soon as I put the wigs on I feel younger, I think I’m 15 and it just comes naturally.”
When asked what it’s like working with Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet fame, she said: “I feel very blessed to work with someone with such calibre, who is so focused and dedicated.
“We come from different backgrounds so we are quite unlikely friends really, but he’s a great support.”
Despite having an operatic mother who suffers with stage fright, Madalena is not shy of the stage.
“Sometimes it can be very scary but most of the time you enjoy it as much as you can.
"It’s demanding but I love it.”
Evita is at The Wycombe Swan Theatre from Tuesday, May 27 to Saturday, May 31.