Marti's monster challenge
Scots music star revels in Jekyll & Hyde performance
MARTI Pellow is heading back to Aberdeen ... but hopefully he’ll stay out of A&E this time. On his last run at His Majesty’s Theatre he ended up at ARI with a cut head after colliding with a stage door at the end of a performance of The Witches of Eastwick. The Wet Wet Wet frontman laughed when he was reminded about the incident that saw the wound taped up and him back on stage the next night. “That was nothing, just a wee nick there and soldier on, man,” he said. “It will take a lot more than that to stop me from going on.” And indeed the show does go on for Marti, who is carving a successful career in musical theatre, including acclaimed stints in The Witches of Eastwick and Chicago. He returns to Aberdeen as the lead in the Broadway hit musical Jekyll & Hyde, which starts at HMT from Monday. And Marti said it is his meatiest role to date. “I was attracted by man’s duality over good and evil,” he said in his best theatrical tones, describing Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale.
“He kills with
“The challenge for me was always going to be the character Jekyll, because Hyde will take care of himself because he’s extremely amped anyway. “With Jekyll you’ve got to really believe in the plight of the character. His obsession to rid the world of all evil is what makes him fundamentally flawed. “People have to warm to that character to have the arc in the performance of the bad guy.” But, of course, the real attraction is the monster Hyde – but Marti doesn’t play Jekyll’s alter ego as a lumbering brute. “I have seen some productions and suddenly he will adopt this caterpillar eyebrow and his voice will drop an octave,” he said. “But that’s not what it’s about. With Hyde there’s a contained anger. I always think a whisper will carry more than a scream will ever do. “That’s the good thing about this Hyde. There’s a sensuality and he kills with great panache.” As always it was the quality of the score that drew Marti to the role. “It’s such a very accessible score. Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse have done a wonderful job on it. “The score is always my first port of call and I just fell in love with the songs and I really dig the music in it. “I had done some arrangements of Leslie’s work and he had heard them and phoned me to say how much he enjoyed some of my interpretations.” Marti said he was thrilled as he had been a long-time fan of the Oscar-winning composer, who penned soundtracks to hit movies like Doctor Dolittle, Scrooge and Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. “We went for dinner and ended up back at his place talking away. He said ‘I’ve got this score for Jekyll & Hyde, it was a big hit on Broadway, would it be something you are interested in’. “I went away and listened to it and said I really wanted to get involved.” He is confident Aberdeen audiences will love it too. “The tour has been going great and we have been getting a great reception. “As to what people in Aberdeen can expect ... a great production, a great twoand-a-half hours of escapism.” But don’t think that a run of hit shows means Marti is settling into the world of musical theatre. Far from it, he is keeping his options open, including a new album Love To Love, which is in the shops now. “I am lucky enough to have a fan base that affords me the luxury of going into these different genres and come along and support me,” he said. “I’ll do a bit of this, then I’ll go and do a wee bit of that.” And his next project is a radical departure – one that Marti describes as a return to his Scottish roots. “When I finish doing Jekyll & Hyde, I would like to embrace the music from my own country. “I have always looked across the pond, but I would like to maybe go away and make a Celtic album. “I think it’s got a lot of soul and passion and it would be nice to do that. “I’ve spoken to Ally Bain and Phil Cunningham and expressed an interest. I was always inspired by their Transatlantic Sessions. “I think I’m just at the time of my life where I would like to embrace my own culture.”
“Big hit on Broadway”
STAGE STAR: Marti Pellow in Jekyll & Hyde.
ON SONG : Marti Pellow is set to delight Aberdeen audiences.