Marti's mon­ster chal­lenge

Scots mu­sic star rev­els in Jekyll & Hyde per­for­mance

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - ARTS AND STAGE - By Scott Beg­bie

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

panache”

“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.

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