Jekyll and Hyde - The Musical featuring Marti Pellow for the UK stage in 2011

Jekyll and Hyde - The Musical
Jekyll and Hyde - The Musical

Back in the eighties, the evidently bedwettingly gorgeous Marti Pellow brightened up many a dull pop promo with his cheeky smile and sparkling eyes. As lead singer with Wet Wet Wet, he enjoyed a huge amount of chart success and his face adorned the hairspray splattered pink bedroom walls of teenage girls everywhere.

But pop's blue-eyed boy (actually they're brown) had a darker side. By day he was the beguiling lead singer on Sweet Little Mystery and Angel Eyes but, by night, he was beginning to become a much more sinister figure, allegedly dabbling with drugs and, even worse, the blues.

Do you see where we're going with this?

Marti - still eschewing his far less ambiguous real name, Mark - then dragged himself away from former glories and the desperate Love Is All Around-era (or, 'the nineties'), in order to embark on a successful stage career. He put his undoubtedly excellent white soul voice to use in London's West End in 2002, making his stage debut as lawyer Billy Flynn in Chicago.

And so the public image of the man once hailed as the 'sixth most Scottish person in the world' was reborn. And his renaissance continues apace as, heading into 2011, his dark side reveals itself once more (finally, the punchline).

Yes, Bill Kenwright has cast Marti Pellow in a touring of production of Jekyll & Hyde which is definitely not another example of scraping the literary barrel to see what we can set a score to and charge punters £50-a-head to sit through.

Bill Kenwright's prowess in this department is, to be fair, beyond question. With a cracking story to tell and a bona fide West End star in the lead role(s?), there can be little doubt it'll be a great show and almost certainly an improvement on the barely successful late nineties Broadway version (which sold out but lost money).

More dates are sure to follow, but for now, Jekyll and Hyde - The Musical begins its 2011 tour on Thursday 20th to Saturday 29th January at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley, moves onto the art deco splendour of Southampton's Mayflower theatre from Thursday 28th March to Monday 2nd April and then Birmingham's Hippodrome from Monday 4th to Saturday 9th April. Expect many more dates to be announced soon!

Tickets are on sale now.

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