Twenty-seven years after making his debut in the amateur production of Grease at the Bridlington Spa, West End star Martin Neely is set to return with the touring production of Back to Bacharach.
Martin, who grew up in Bempton, has recalled waiting in the Spa’s wings to appear as Doody as a 17-year-old taking his first steps in musical theatre.
He said: “I was taken by the vast scale of the auditorium.
“It was even bigger than it is now and BAODS shows sold well so the atmosphere was quite something.
“That anticipation and adrenalin rush is something that never deserts you, as a performer it’s what you live for.
“As well as Grease, I also appeared in their productions of The Little Shop of Horrors, Show Boat and The Merry Widdow at the Spa.
“The Spa’s backstage staff were always so helpful and welcoming and I remember enjoying stints in summer season shows and panto productions there immensely.”
Since cutting his teeth with Bridlington Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society’s production of Grease, Martin has gone on to enjoy a successful career in and out of London’s West End playing the Prince of Wales train in Starlight Express and also Grantaire in Les Miserables for two years, including the 25th anniversary performances at the O2 Arena.
His other West End highlights include playing opposite Boy George in Taboo and with Tommy Steele in Scrooge at the Palladium.
Musical theatre was the furthest thing on Martin’s mind when he progressed from Bempton Primary to Headlands School.
Martin’s eyes were opened to the potential of the world of performing arts after taking his GCSE in drama and thanks to his experiences with BOADS.
After taking a BTEC in performing arts at Hull College of Further Education and relocating to Hertfordshire to take his BA, Martin embarked on his career in musicals.
He is currently starring in the touring production of Back to Bacharach – performing the many million-selling hits penned by Burt Bacharach. The theatre spectacular comes to The Spa on Friday 8 February.
The show features some of the classic songs written by Burt Bacharach, including Walk on By, Close to You, I Say a Little Prayer, The Look of Love, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head, Make it Easy on Yourself, Do You Know the Way to San Jose, Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa, (There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me – some of the biggest-selling songs of all time.
Martin said: “It will be my first time performing at the Spa since I was a teenager. My am-dram friends will be in the audience along with my mum, dad and sister.
“My family still live in Bridlington and are Spa regulars.
“They tell me this year’s panto was very good.”
Visit www.bridspa.com or call 01262 678258 to find out more about the show and to book tickets.