Revolutionary tales

Marti pellow as Che and Madalena Alberto as Eva in the UK touring production Evita.
Marti pellow as Che and Madalena Alberto as Eva in the UK touring production Evita.

Musical star and Wet, Wet, Wet frontman Marti Pellow returns to the Sheffield stage next week to play Che in the evergreen musical, Evita.

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical brings to life the dynamic persona of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentinian dictator Juan Peron. It follows her 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 her countrymen.

Pellow admits he had never seen the show before. “But it’s one of those musicals that crosses over into pop. I was familiar with those songs that became pop songs like Don’t Cry For Me Argentina and Another Suitcase in Another Hall which were part of mainstream culture. They are testaments to the pop sensibilities of Andrew Lloyd Webber.”

Che functions as an observer and something of an outsider to the story in a similar way to the Narrator in Blood Brother, the role in which Pellow appeared in Sheffield earlier this year.

“It seems to be very much like that but Che is more of a character, there is a lot more going on there,” suggests the performer. Portuguese singer-songwriter Madalena Alberto plays the title role. “She brings a Latin passion and a physicality to the performance in the journey she takes you on from the age of 15 to her demise,” observes Pellow.

“I am on stage throughout the entire show and in a good position to appreciate the other performances and see how she and big Mark (Heenehan, playing General Peron) are at the top of their game.”

Although musicals have become his priority - “I’m grateful to Bill Kenwright for giving me these opportunities - he hasn’t given up on the pop carrer and in December he plans a short tour with Wet, Wet, Wet.

“It’s great to be able to use a different part of the tool kit, it’s a great luxury to be able to do that.”

Pellow is a regular visitor to Sheffield with recent appearances in Blood Brothers and Jekyl and Hyde at the Lyceum and War of the Worlds at the Arena.

“Yeah, I might as wlll buy a house in Sheffield,” he laughs. “One thing I appreciate is the support the city gives the theatre. Last time I wasn’t very well and had to have a couple of days off but every time I walked past the Crucible people were telling me how great My Fair Lady was. To have two great theatres on different sides of the square is pretty special.”

Evita opens at the Lyceum on Monday and runs for two weeks