Eva Noblezada’s portrayal of bar girl Kim in the 2014 west end revival of the iconic musical Miss Saigon, is to date one of my favourite performances by an actress in a musical.
So, you can imagine my delight, when my Mother’s Day gift from DT included a ticket for Noblezada’s one woman show Girl No More (presented by Fane Productions) at Pizza Express live, in Brindley place Birmingham.
Pizza Express hosts regular jazz and live music events in an upstairs setting. Audience members sit at dining tables, creating a cabaret type atmosphere.
We sat at a table for two in front of the stage, which gave us a perfect view of the performance.
The house lights dimmed, and on to the stage set with a piano, red leather stool, and microphone stepped Eva; who was dressed very simply in black top and black satin trousers.
For the next hour, accompanied by a very skilful pianist, Eva introduced the audience to her colourful musical world. The playlist, consisting of songs that were favourites or of personal significance to Eva, included songs by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Amy Winehouse and Adele.
Her D-Eva medley was inventive and superb; a “mash up” of songs from musicals such as Hamilton, Cabaret, Wicked and Les Misérables.
Each song was delivered pitch perfectly. The tone, range and maturity of Eva’s voice, filled this intimate venue and at times I felt overwhelmed by the beauty and emotion of this set.
This was particularly evident in the reprise of Sun and Moon from Miss Saigon. I was not alone in discreetly wiping away a tear.
In between songs Eva chatted to the audience, her warm, natural, bubbly personality shining through. Introducing the beautiful song Dancing by Canadian artist Elisa, Eva told the audience how she had discovered the track whilst falling into the wonderful world of YouTube videos.
Eva also spoke of her personal battles. On being cast at the age of 17 as the leading lady of a west end show, she discovered that she was judged not by her talent alone. Due to negative insensitive comments, a forced diet and exercise regime to change her body shape, Eva developed an eating disorder and was diagnosed with anxiety during the west end revival of Miss Saigon in 2014.
I applaud this brave, strong young woman for her honesty regarding the pressures her industry put on members of her profession regarding their body image. This “real”, vibrant young woman is a positive role model and an incredible talent.
I would thoroughly recommend this show for any lovers of quality live vocal performances in a cabaret setting.
As I stood with the rest of the audience to give the well-deserved standing ovation, Eva Noblezada proved to all of us present that she is indeed “a girl no more”.
We say: “Eva Noblezada is a musical superstar. Her honest, beautiful personality only matches her stunning voice. Girl No More was outstanding!”