Wet,Wet,Wet frontman Marti Pellow is about to undertake one of musical theatre’s most coveted roles, when he plays Che in Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s EVITA, at The Lowry from Mon 29 July – Sat 10 August.
Telling the story of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, EVITA follows Eva’s journey from humble beginnings through to extraordinary wealth, power and iconic status which ultimately lead her to be heralded as the ‘spiritual leader of the nation’ by the Argentine people.
Pellow has enjoyed virtually un-rivalled chart success both with the ‘Wets’ and in his solo career, with over 25 hits and three of the UK’s biggest number one singles, including the seminal Love Is All Around.
He has performed all over the world, and his West End and Musical Theatre appearances include The Witches of Eastwick, Chess, Jekyll & Hyde, Chicago and Blood Brothers.
Pellow joins the cast of EVITA fresh from a solo tour to launch his brand new solo album Hope, released on Monday 18 March.
Manchester’s Finest grabbed the loveable Scotsman for 5 minutes to get the lowdown on his latest venture.
MF: So Marti, what attracted you to starring in Evita?
MP: I just love the songs. I became aware of the songs through the pop culture world when I first heard David Essex sing ‘Oh what a Circus’. Some of the songs have a great pop sensibility that Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber have created but on the other hand some are very operatic so it’s a nice mix.
MF: Is theatre your home now after your roles in Chicago and Blood Brothers?
MP: I will continue to do theatre or be involved the arts as much as I can. I don’t have a particular favourite I just think I’m very lucky to have fan base that afford me to go in those 2 worlds and genres and support me. It’s kinda cool for me as an artist to be able to explore these different things and all the dreams I want to pursue as an artist.
MF: Do you find there’s more of a community feel with the theatre world in comparison to the world of pop?
MP: Well I choose to do very much ensemble type pieces. When you are doing something like Blood Brothers where there’s so much heart and passion in the piece you can’t help but come together as a cast. I originally just wanted to stay for just a couple of months with the show but I loved Blood Brothers so much and Willy Russell’s writing I ended up staying eight months and toured the UK with it. It was full of great people to work with.
MF: How do you feel about coming to The Lowry?
MP: I was last there in March, we had a lovely reception then and I’m looking forward to my 2 weeks there and exploring the city even more.
MF: There’s so many musicals around now which are centred around songs from successful pop groups; Mama Mia, We Will Rock You, Viva Forever…are you tempted to do a musical based on Wet, Wet, Wet’s songs?
MP: Well it’s something I’ve been asked about a few times and I think it’s got to come from a good book rather than just a unleashing a back catalogue of your hit songs onto a story that nobody really wants to invest a piece of themselves in. The songs are already there and there’s a connection with the music-but when the songs are not on you have to invest a piece of your heart in the story. If the book was good and it was coming from a place that made sense then yes, never say never. It’s such a difficult one as these are songs we wrote in our 20s, 30s and 40s so it would be hard to weld them all together. If someone else could have a vision about it I’d be more than happy to hear it.
MF: Talking of the Wets are we going to see another reunion with them?
MP: Yes, at the end of the year I’ll be in Manchester with the boys. Me and the ‘Wets’ are playing Manchester Arena in December – we are doing 10 shows in the UK. We all commit to play every five years (if you are lucky) – so every five years we think ‘right we better do another ‘ tour!
EVITA runs from 29th July-10th August