MARTI Pellow, one of music’s most respected artists, is undertaking one of musical theatre's most coveted roles as he plays Che in Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, at The Regent Theatre from Monday, 21 October to Saturday, 26 October.
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.
With more than 20 major awards to its credit, including the Oscar winning film version starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas, Evita features some of the most iconic songs in musical theatre, including Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, On This Night of a Thousand Stars, You Must Love Me, and Another Suitcase in Another Hall.
Reporter Abbey Buxton attended the opening night performance of Evita at The Regent on Monday, October 21, and here she writes what she thought about it:
As one of my all time must-see musicals, I was delighted to have been given the chance to see Evita, especially so close to home.
The Regent has really outdone itself this year with its incredible line-up of performances, and this was no exception.
Right from the start you know that Evita is not going to pull any punches, as the curtain rises and you are immediately hit with thunderous music and vocals as the set descends to create a cathedral-like scene with Eva's coffin and portrait at the centre.
It is here we meet Che, a character who reflects the voice of the Argentine people; linked to Eva by destiny he brings conflict to the story of Eva’s rise to fame.
Marti Pellow plays the character very well, as he narrates throughout the performance, in his own cynical and bitter way.
Having seen Marti as the devil in The Witches of Eastwick, also at The Regent, I'm familiar with his extraordinary vocal talents, but it was great to see how he has further developed into his acting persona and his voice in this demanding role was outstanding.
As a solo-singer, recording artist, and at the beginning of his career with Wet Wet Wet, Marti Pellow has enjoyed virtually un-rivalled chart success, 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 and Hyde, Chicago and Blood Brothers.
Madalena Alberto played the role of Eva to perfection and was mesmerising and enthralling as the inspirational, yet ruthlessly ambitious, tragic heroin of the performance.
Her vocals were phenomenal and so powerful they made the hairs of my neck stand on end, especially throughout the show's signature song "Don't Cry for Me Argentina".
Her most recent musical theatre credits include the role of Piaf at the Curve Theatre, Leicester, Fantine in the 25th Anniversary production of Les Misérables.
Other roles include Lucy in Jekyll and Hyde (Union Theatre, London), Carmen Diaz in Fame (UK Tour), Sam in Over the Threshold (Edinburgh and London) and Sonia in Godspell (Union Theatre, London).
The Portuguese singer-songwriter also released her album Heart Condition in 2012.
Completing the cast are Mark Heenehan, Nic Gibney, Sarah McNicholas, Hannah Grover, Natalie Day, Emily Goodenough, Verity Burgess, Laura Emmitt, Lizzie Ottley, Perry O’Dea, Joe Maxwell, Joel Elferink, Stuart MacIver, Joseph Connor, Ryan Pidgen, Anthony Ray, Anthony Hewitt and David Burilin.
You will need plenty of tissues for this show, but once you've see it you'll want to watch it again; it truly is one of the great musicals of all time and is not to be missed.
Tickets are now on sale and are available in person from The Regent Theatre Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke.