Actor’s 150 mile dash saves Evita performance in Leicester

Jessica Daley takes a bow
Jessica Daley takes a bow. Credit: X/Curve

Jessica Daley embarked on a 150-mile journey from Middlesbrough to the Curve theatre in Leicester, ensuring the Saturday night performance ofEvita could go ahead.

With both the lead, Martha Kirby, and her understudy, Chumisa Dornford-May, falling ill, the theatre was in a scramble to find a replacement for the pivotal role of Eva Perón.

Daley, responding to the theatre’s urgent call, arrived just in time for the 7:30pm show, singing the demanding role from the side of the stage.

The Curve theatre shared an image of Daley receiving a standing ovation, captioning it with high praise: “She is a diamond – a huge round of applause for Jessica Daley! 👏👏👏

“@jessicacaca7 joined us this evening to perform as Eva Perón, meaning our production of Evita could go ahead. ”

“A moment. Lord,” Daley responded simply.

The audience’s response was overwhelmingly positive, with numerous attendees taking to social media to express their admiration.

This isn’t Daley’s first foray into the spotlight. In 2019, she led an international tour of Evita to great acclaim and has appeared in other notable stage productions like Billy Elliot, An Officer and a Gentleman and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Currently, Daley appears in the cast of I Should Be So Lucky on tour.

Evita, penned by the legendary duo Lord Lloyd-Webber and Sir Tim Rice, chronicles the life of the Argentinian political figure Eva Perón. The musical gained further fame with its 1996 film adaptation starring Madonna.

The revival at the Curve plays through to 13 January.

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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