POP star Marti Pellow was given an offer he couldn’t refuse when he was asked to come to the North East with the tour of Blood Brothers.
The Scot plays the Narrator in the Willy Russell musical which comes to the Sunderland Empire later this month.
Pellow, 46, said: “I’m really enjoying the show, it’s a great piece. I’ve been doing the show for a while now in London and I’m looking forward to coming up to Sunderland with it.
“I think the last time I was up that way was when I was in Witches of Eastwick a couple of years ago, so it’ll be nice to go back.
“And it’s nearly Scotland, so it’s kind of like going back home.”
The show tells the story of twin brothers who are separated at birth and go on to lead very different lives.
One becomes an Oxbridge-graduated councillor and the other unemployed and in prison, in a contemporary nature versus nurture argument.
But when both brothers fall in love with the same girl, things take a tragic turn for the worse.
Pellow said: “I think the plot of Blood Brothers resonates a lot more with people up north.
“When you’re in London you’re really playing to an international audience and there are a lot of people who won’t really understand it, but up north people really get where it’s coming from and how hard it must have been for the mother to give up one of her children because she had no money.
“You’ll be best to take along a couple of hankies with you, but that’s the beauty of Willy Russell’s writing.
“If you really invest in the characters you go on a real journey with them, and Willy Russell really knows how to write for the ladies.
“For me, I think of Blood Brothers as more of a play with a few songs in it than a musical, and I really love the spoken word in it.”
Pellow first found fame in the pop group Wet, Wet, Wet, releasing a run of chart-topping multi-platinum albums, more than 25 chart hits and three of the UK’s biggest No1 singles, including Love Is All Around.
And since then, the singer has found his feet on the West End stage, having worked closely with some of the world’s most important musical composers, such as Sir Tim Rice and Leslie Bricusse.
He said: “I got to the point in my career where I was looking for something a bit different.
“I really like the discipline of doing musical theatre. You’re doing eight shows a week and it’s hard work but I enjoy working that way.”
Blood Brothers starts at the Sunderland Empire on Tuesday, January 31.
Tickets start at £17.50, call 0844 871 7627.
WE’VE got three pairs of tickets to give away to see Blood Brothers on Wednesday, February 1.
To be in with a chance of winning, just tell us who wrote Blood Brothers?
Fill in the coupon in Tuesday’s Shields Gazette and send it to Vicki Newman, Blood Brothers, Shields Gazette, Chapter Row, South Shields, NE33 1BL.
Or you can e-mail your answers, name, address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line ‘blood brothers’.
The closing date for all entries is Monday, January 30.