Martin Smith

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Martin Smith

Post  ianjonbourgandethanfreema on Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:49 pm

Hey everyone,

I've noticed that the performer, Martin Smith, who played the Phantom for an incredibly brief time in 1989, seems to be a bit of a mystery to people.

I actually run a website dedicated to his memory:
In Memory of Martin Smith

Martin Smith was a very popular performer in the West End through out the 80's and early 90's, starring in numerous musicals like Evita as Che, Les Miserables as Marius and cover Valjean, March Of the Falsettos, Bitter Sweet as Carl Linden, and City Of Angels as Stine. He also starred in the popular British soap opera Crossroads. You can read more of his biography on the website.

Anyway, Martin Smith was hired to be Dave Willetts's replacement when he left the show around October of 1989. Martin Smith took over, but....well Martin Smith was suffering from HIV/AIDS, and during his time in Phantom he struggled heavily with the score. This was the first time he had ever suffered from any sort of vocal troubles such as these it would seem. This resulted in him getting fired after not even two months, and they sent him off to a voice teacher. He never returned to the role, and he died in 1994.

Thats the story of Martin Smith & The Phantom of the Opera. Just thought that I'd clear that up for everyone.

Now....did anyone here ever see Martin Smith as the Phantom? I'm incredibly curious as to what his performances were like. There's sadly no "document" of his performances, other than a couple of brochure pictures.

I'd love to read reviews of his performance, if anyone has any or if anyone saw him.

Thats all! Smile

~Brady

ianjonbourgandethanfreema

Posts : 36
Join date : 2012-09-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Martin Smith

Post  London-Phan on Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:48 am

I've seen your site, it's very good and I think it's nice to have something like that about Martin. I think it's a shame that there aren't more pics of him as Phantom but it was the same for all Phantoms back then, they only had two pics in the brochure. I find it strange that he was fired for struggling with the vocals because surely they would have known in the auditions that he wasn't quite up to it vocally. Although they have cast actors in the past in London that seemed to struggle with some of the harder parts, Peter Polycarpou even told me that the role was out of his range but he was still given the part. I think you've got pretty much all the info you need on Martin, but I have brochures of him from City of Angels, Peg and Phantom and the programme from phantom and Les Mis when he was Marius and the brochure from the Handful of Keys concert, if there's anything you need.

London-Phan

Posts : 220
Join date : 2010-06-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Martin Smith

Post  ianjonbourgandethanfreema on Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:15 pm

London-Phan wrote:I've seen your site, it's very good and I think it's nice to have something like that about Martin. I think it's a shame that there aren't more pics of him as Phantom but it was the same for all Phantoms back then, they only had two pics in the brochure. I find it strange that he was fired for struggling with the vocals because surely they would have known in the auditions that he wasn't quite up to it vocally. Although they have cast actors in the past in London that seemed to struggle with some of the harder parts, Peter Polycarpou even told me that the role was out of his range but he was still given the part. I think you've got pretty much all the info you need on Martin, but I have brochures of him from City of Angels, Peg and Phantom and the programme from phantom and Les Mis when he was Marius and the brochure from the Handful of Keys concert, if there's anything you need.

Yeah it's strange, but Martin Smith was un-trained, so it could've been that the role just wore out his voice so much overtime that he just couldn't sing it anymore.
So the audition would've been an easier process, because he only would've needed to sing a couple of songs as opposed to the whole score.

And I sent you a PM about those things Smile

ianjonbourgandethanfreema

Posts : 36
Join date : 2012-09-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Martin Smith

Post  ianjonbourgandethanfreema on Sat May 04, 2013 12:29 am

Thanks to Jay Jackson, ensemble member and understudy Andre near the end of 1989, I have a more complete timeline/story on Martin Smith as the Phantom.

Martin Smith actually knew about his illness in 1989 and was well aware he was going to die. In light of this, he asked Cameron Mackintosh for a chance in the role (Jay suggested it may have been as a sort of dying wish to Cameron). He was performing by September 1989.
He was out frequently due to his illness and vocal issues, and rarely did a week without an understudy going on.

During this time, Dave Willetts, James Paterson and even Peter Karrie went on regularly as covers.

After a while, Cameron suggested Martin take a leave to rest for a few weeks from the show, then see how he coped when he returned. Martin did so and when he returned, nothing changed.
His leaving the show (he was there no more than 3 months), was apparently a mutual decision based on the agreement that his voice was struggling and his poor health.


And I have also come into contact with a few other 1989 cast members and the Cameron Mackintosh archive assistant, sadly none of them have documents of him in the show.
BUT I DID JUST WIN A BROCHURE WITH HIM Very Happy

ianjonbourgandethanfreema

Posts : 36
Join date : 2012-09-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Martin Smith

Post  London-Phan on Sat May 04, 2013 8:06 pm

ianjonbourgandethanfreema wrote:Thanks to Jay Jackson, ensemble member and understudy Andre near the end of 1989, I have a more complete timeline/story on Martin Smith as the Phantom.

Martin Smith actually knew about his illness in 1989 and was well aware he was going to die. In light of this, he asked Cameron Mackintosh for a chance in the role (Jay suggested it may have been as a sort of dying wish to Cameron). He was performing by September 1989.
He was out frequently due to his illness and vocal issues, and rarely did a week without an understudy going on.

During this time, Dave Willetts, James Paterson and even Peter Karrie went on regularly as covers.

After a while, Cameron suggested Martin take a leave to rest for a few weeks from the show, then see how he coped when he returned. Martin did so and when he returned, nothing changed.
His leaving the show (he was there no more than 3 months), was apparently a mutual decision based on the agreement that his voice was struggling and his poor health.


And I have also come into contact with a few other 1989 cast members and the Cameron Mackintosh archive assistant, sadly none of them have documents of him in the show.
BUT I DID JUST WIN A BROCHURE WITH HIM Very Happy

This story doesn't seem right to me. Mainly because in the brochure for the Handful of Keys tribute concert, Nick Fiveash tells of how he went with Martin to the doctors to collect the results of his(Martin's) HIV test in November '93 and what they would do if it came back positive, which sadly it did and Martin said he would fight it. He died 12 months later. So it seems to me that Martin didn't have the disease when he did Phantom, and that that's not why he wasn't up to the role. Also i don't mean to sound harsh but would Cameron actually cast someone who wasn't up to the role because it was a dying wish? He did several shows after Phantom that he didn't(as far as i know) stuggle with. Also as far as i'm aware James Patterson and Simon Tunkin covered Martin's absenses and Dave Willetts was brought in briefly just to cover from when Martin actually left to when Peter Karrie Started. I'm not trying to start an agument and i know that you are just going by what you have been told. Smile

London-Phan

Posts : 220
Join date : 2010-06-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Martin Smith

Post  ianjonbourgandethanfreema on Sun May 05, 2013 1:57 am

London-Phan wrote:
ianjonbourgandethanfreema wrote:Thanks to Jay Jackson, ensemble member and understudy Andre near the end of 1989, I have a more complete timeline/story on Martin Smith as the Phantom.

Martin Smith actually knew about his illness in 1989 and was well aware he was going to die. In light of this, he asked Cameron Mackintosh for a chance in the role (Jay suggested it may have been as a sort of dying wish to Cameron). He was performing by September 1989.
He was out frequently due to his illness and vocal issues, and rarely did a week without an understudy going on.

During this time, Dave Willetts, James Paterson and even Peter Karrie went on regularly as covers.

After a while, Cameron suggested Martin take a leave to rest for a few weeks from the show, then see how he coped when he returned. Martin did so and when he returned, nothing changed.
His leaving the show (he was there no more than 3 months), was apparently a mutual decision based on the agreement that his voice was struggling and his poor health.


And I have also come into contact with a few other 1989 cast members and the Cameron Mackintosh archive assistant, sadly none of them have documents of him in the show.
BUT I DID JUST WIN A BROCHURE WITH HIM Very Happy

This story doesn't seem right to me. Mainly because in the brochure for the Handful of Keys tribute concert, Nick Fiveash tells of how he went with Martin to the doctors to collect the results of his(Martin's) HIV test in November '93 and what they would do if it came back positive, which sadly it did and Martin said he would fight it. He died 12 months later. So it seems to me that Martin didn't have the disease when he did Phantom, and that that's not why he wasn't up to the role. Also i don't mean to sound harsh but would Cameron actually cast someone who wasn't up to the role because it was a dying wish? He did several shows after Phantom that he didn't(as far as i know) stuggle with. Also as far as i'm aware James Patterson and Simon Tunkin covered Martin's absenses and Dave Willetts was brought in briefly just to cover from when Martin actually left to when Peter Karrie Started. I'm not trying to start an agument and i know that you are just going by what you have been told. Smile

And the story of Martin's Phantom has gone dark for me once more....
I give up. I can't keep doing this. This has caused me too much time and stress trying to find an audio of him the role and trying to figure out this damn story lol

Thank you for the info London-Phan by the way. Honestly I had NO clue when he learned of his disease so this helps! I hate to ask this, but is there any possible way you could type up what Nick Fiveash wrote in the Handful Of Keys brochure? I'd love to have it for the website but I don't own the brochure myself, really curious to see whats written in it.

ianjonbourgandethanfreema

Posts : 36
Join date : 2012-09-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Martin Smith

Post  London-Phan on Sun May 05, 2013 8:31 am

Yeah that's no problem i'll type it up at some point today and message it to you. I do find it strange that no one seems to know exactly what went on with his time in Phantom. It does seem that he started in Sept '89 and had gone by Nov/Dec, because there is a brochure of Peter Karrie from December '89 and usualy the brochure is printed the following month following the cast change although in some rare cases its printed in the same month. I wonder if it might be worth trying to contact Dave Willetts to find out how he fit in to the situation, as i know that James Patterson and Simon Tunkin both went on to cover for Martin, so if Karrie was in by December it seems strange that they would bring Willetts in to cover? Saying that though he may not remember alot about it as it was years ago.

London-Phan

Posts : 220
Join date : 2010-06-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Martin Smith

Post  ianjonbourgandethanfreema on Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:12 am

UPDATE:
Still no luck in finding a recording of Martin's Phantom and am still accepting any help people can give.

I sold my brochure/playbill from when he was the Phantom for $20 for charity of Ebay this past week, and will donate the money to an HIV/AIDS research/charity in his name.

The website got a bit of an update:
inmemoryofmartinsmith.weebly.com

And I'm still looking for the brochure (physical or scans) from his memorial concert in 1995, Handful Of Keys.

But, most important for me, I'd love to finally put my curiosity to rest and hear his Phantom, so any help is welcome.

Thanks Smile
~Brady

ianjonbourgandethanfreema

Posts : 36
Join date : 2012-09-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Martin Smith

Post  Scorp on Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:14 pm

ianjonbourgandethanfreema wrote:UPDATE:
Still no luck in finding a recording of Martin's Phantom and am still accepting any help people can give.

I sold my brochure/playbill from when he was the Phantom for $20 for charity of Ebay this past week, and will donate the money to an HIV/AIDS research/charity in his name.

The website got a bit of an update:
inmemoryofmartinsmith.weebly.com

And I'm still looking for the brochure (physical or scans) from his memorial concert in 1995, Handful Of Keys.

But, most important for me, I'd love to finally put my curiosity to rest and hear his Phantom, so any help is welcome.

Thanks Smile
~Brady

I think your best bet is to contact members of the cast who were there when Smith was in the role. They are the most likely ones I think to have a recording, if one does exist...

_________________
In Hal Prince we trust.

Scorp

Posts : 1308
Join date : 2009-09-21

View user profile http://phantomslair.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Martin Smith

Post  ianjonbourgandethanfreema on Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:44 am

Scorp wrote:
ianjonbourgandethanfreema wrote:UPDATE:
Still no luck in finding a recording of Martin's Phantom and am still accepting any help people can give.

I sold my brochure/playbill from when he was the Phantom for $20 for charity of Ebay this past week, and will donate the money to an HIV/AIDS research/charity in his name.

The website got a bit of an update:
inmemoryofmartinsmith.weebly.com

And I'm still looking for the brochure (physical or scans) from his memorial concert in 1995, Handful Of Keys.

But, most important for me, I'd love to finally put my curiosity to rest and hear his Phantom, so any help is welcome.

Thanks Smile
~Brady

I think your best bet is to contact members of the cast who were there when Smith was in the role. They are the most likely ones I think to have a recording, if one does exist...

Oh I did, I contacted just about every single one who was online and then some, nobody who responded had anything

ianjonbourgandethanfreema

Posts : 36
Join date : 2012-09-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Martin Smith

Post  Scorp on Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:41 pm

ianjonbourgandethanfreema wrote:
Scorp wrote:
ianjonbourgandethanfreema wrote:UPDATE:
Still no luck in finding a recording of Martin's Phantom and am still accepting any help people can give.

I sold my brochure/playbill from when he was the Phantom for $20 for charity of Ebay this past week, and will donate the money to an HIV/AIDS research/charity in his name.

The website got a bit of an update:
inmemoryofmartinsmith.weebly.com

And I'm still looking for the brochure (physical or scans) from his memorial concert in 1995, Handful Of Keys.

But, most important for me, I'd love to finally put my curiosity to rest and hear his Phantom, so any help is welcome.

Thanks Smile
~Brady

I think your best bet is to contact members of the cast who were there when Smith was in the role. They are the most likely ones I think to have a recording, if one does exist...

Oh I did, I contacted just about every single one who was online and then some, nobody who responded had anything

Blah. :/ Kudos to your tenacity though.

I know they're likely to say no and certainly wouldn't want to divulge any recorded materials, but perhaps you could ask CamMac and RUG respectively as to whether any archive recordings exist? There's always the remote possibility they'll say such footage does exist and if you're ever in the UK you could perhaps arrange a viewing. Of course, you'd have to frame it in terms of genuine research and not just mere curiosity...

Beyond that, I can only think of contacting the stage managers at the time. You might get some interesting responses on the subject of Martin Smith from the former WhatsOnStage forum at http://www.theatreforum.com (the UK's most active theatre message board).

_________________
In Hal Prince we trust.

Scorp

Posts : 1308
Join date : 2009-09-21

View user profile http://phantomslair.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Martin Smith

Post  ianjonbourgandethanfreema on Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:46 am

Scorp wrote:
ianjonbourgandethanfreema wrote:
Scorp wrote:
ianjonbourgandethanfreema wrote:UPDATE:
Still no luck in finding a recording of Martin's Phantom and am still accepting any help people can give.

I sold my brochure/playbill from when he was the Phantom for $20 for charity of Ebay this past week, and will donate the money to an HIV/AIDS research/charity in his name.

The website got a bit of an update:
inmemoryofmartinsmith.weebly.com

And I'm still looking for the brochure (physical or scans) from his memorial concert in 1995, Handful Of Keys.

But, most important for me, I'd love to finally put my curiosity to rest and hear his Phantom, so any help is welcome.

Thanks Smile
~Brady

I think your best bet is to contact members of the cast who were there when Smith was in the role. They are the most likely ones I think to have a recording, if one does exist...

Oh I did, I contacted just about every single one who was online and then some, nobody who responded had anything

Blah. :/ Kudos to your tenacity though.

I know they're likely to say no and certainly wouldn't want to divulge any recorded materials, but perhaps you could ask CamMac and RUG respectively as to whether any archive recordings exist? There's always the remote possibility they'll say such footage does exist and if you're ever in the UK you could perhaps arrange a viewing. Of course, you'd have to frame it in terms of genuine research and not just mere curiosity...

Beyond that, I can only think of contacting the stage managers at the time. You might get some interesting responses on the subject of Martin Smith from the former WhatsOnStage forum at http://www.theatreforum.com (the UK's most active theatre message board).

I've done both those things too :/ Heck even CamMac and RUG responded, their archival unit supervisors and archivers, and they found nothing. WhatsOnStage I did almost 2 years ago I think. Nothing Mad
Its been an interesting few years of searching thats for sure

ianjonbourgandethanfreema

Posts : 36
Join date : 2012-09-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Martin Smith

Post  Sponsored content Today at 3:38 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum