Boeing Boeing Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham February 9 to 14 Tickets: £10 to £25 Tel: 01242 572573 Martin Marquez, whose face you might know from behind the bar on TV’s Hotel Babylon, is jetting in to a theatre near us in a high-flying comedy.
Martin, who plays Gino Primirola in the television drama, is touring with the farce Boeing Boeing, which took the West End by storm two years ago.
Martin first saw the show in London, when a friend was starring in it.
“I was blown away by it,” he said “So when I was offered the chance to do it, I jumped at it. Farce is difficult but once you get it right you can enjoy the energy from the audience who are having such a great time.”
Martin’s brother, John, is also in the show. In fact, they were auditioned as a package.
“It came out of the blue,” said Martin. “We were asked to be seen together and they liked what we did.”
It doesn’t put the actor off his stride to work with his brother as they have their own theatre show, which they took to the Edinburgh Festival and are now rewriting for the West End.
“It is called Vagabondo and is about sleeping under the stars around Europe,” said Martin.
“It is both funny and moving.”
Martin and John were also called together for a five-week special run of EastEnders, featuring Mike Reid’s return.
“They wanted to write him back into the series but he was living in Marbella and only agreed if they shot the scenes in Spain,” said Martin.
“The storyline was that he was supposed to be dead. Peggy was at his funeral and then saw him walking down the street.
“So we spent five weeks in Marbella at a five-star hotel working on EastEnders!”
Martin’s most famous creation to date is the Spanish barman Gino on Hotel Babylon, which also starred Max Beasley and Tamzin Outhwaite. Even there he didn’t quite escape brother John, as he also appeared in one of the episodes.
Although Martin was born in Coventry his father is Spanish, so that part of his role came naturally.
He did, however, take lessons in “flaring” - the flamboyant shaking and throwing of cocktails.
“I did a couple of courses and learned about spinning bottles out in my back garden until I was quite competent,” he said.
“But I was never asked to do it on the show. The five-star hotel barmen who taught me said they don’t do it in top hotels because it makes too much mess and it is a waste of alcohol. However, he did say a cocktail barman should look as if he could do it at any moment.”
Martin confided that he thought Latin men made better barmen than the English. “They are show offs in the US and the English make welcoming landlords, but Spanish and Italians take pride and use showmanship,” he said.
Martin Marquez Born: October 8, 1968, in Coventry.
Family: One of a family of five children. Brother John is also an actor. Father runs a chain of takeaway shops.
Five children of his own: Paolo, 25, Martha, 15, Archie, 13, Raoul, 10, and Romana, eight.
Romana recently appeared in the TV series called Outnumbered.
Other jobs: Owned a fish and chip shop he bought from his dad and a was fitness instructor.
Sports: Plays football and squash.