Marti Webb

About Marti Webb

b. 13 January 1944, Cricklewood, London, England. In 1963, singer Marti Webb was ‘plucked from the chorus’ of the London production of Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley’s hit musical Stop the World - I Want To Get Off, to star opposite Tommy Steele in the even more successful Half A Sixpence. Although she was not chosen to recreate her role in the subsequent 1967 film version, she did dub the singing voice of her replacement, actress Julia Foster. Webb played Nancy in a national tour of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! in 1965, and again two years later in the major West End revival. In the early 70s she appeared in one of the in-vogue ‘biblical’ musicals, Godspell, with a superior cast which included Jeremy Irons, David Essex and Julie Covington. She also featured in a musical adaptation of J.B. Priestley’s The Good Companions, which had a score by André Previn and Johnny Mercer. Much better all round, was The Card, with songs by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent, in which Webb impressed with her duet with Jim Dale on ‘Opposite Your Smile’, and the solo ‘I Could Be The One’. It was in the 80s that Webb really came to prominence after successfully replacing Elaine Page in Evita. In 1980 she appeared in an invited concert and a television broadcast of the ‘song cycle’ Tell Me On A Sunday, with a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Don Black. This spawned both a studio and television soundtrack album, and Webb took one of the show’s songs, ‘Take That Look Off Your Face’, into the UK Top 5. Two years later, when an expanded version of Tell Me On A Sunday was joined with Variations to form the two-part ‘theatrical concert’, Song And Dance, Webb’s 50-minute solo performance was hailed as a ‘remarkable tour de force ’. She also took over various roles in other Lloyd Webber productions, including his longest-running British musical, Cats. Webb’s singles during this period included a charity cover version of the Michael Jackson hit ‘Ben’ (UK Top 5, 1985), and three popular television themes: ‘Always There’ from Howard’s Way (UK Top 20, 1986); ‘Someday Soon’ from The Onedin Line and a duet with Paul Jones on ‘I Could Be So Good For You’, from Minder. In the early 90s Webb toured the UK and the Channel Islands with The Magic Of The Musicals, co-starring with television’s Opportunity Knocks winner, Mark Rattray. Since then, her various projects have included a season performing George Gershwin songs at London’s Café Royal in the company of broadcaster David Jacobs, presenting The Don Black Story on BBC Radio 2, appearing in pantomime, a Summer Season in Blackpool with Michael Barrymore, and major UK tours of Evita and the Neil Simon / Marvin Hamlisch /Don Black musical, The Goodbye Girl (1997/8, with Gary Wilmot). She also appears regularly in pantomime.

Cricklewood, London, England
December 13, 1943

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