Emotional rollercoaster finishes on huge high - review of I Dreamed A Dream
It's hard to believe that little over three years ago the world did not know who Susan Boyle was.
Last night at The Hippodrome the audience were on their feet patiently waiting until almost the end of the show before she appeared on stage.
With her now legendary wiggle, and in a black sparkly dress, she performed the song which makes up the title of her life story.
I Dreamed A Dream starts with Susan's birth, growing up in a working-class family, and dealing with the loss of her sister and both her parents whom she cared for.
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But it is Rab C Nesbitt actress Elaine C Smith who evokes our sympathy and emotion playing the unlikely star from birth to that Britain's Got Talent audition.
From humble beginnings in a council estate in Blackburn, West Lothian, we watch Smith's Susan cope with bullying at school, giving up on love, caring for her parents and overcoming her nerves in bouts of pub karaoke.
The story is handled sensitively but with a good measure of humour - we can laugh at the comedy pub compere with ideas above his station and Susan's witty one-liners. Karen Mann and James Paterson are very believable as Mr and Mrs Boyle and both sing well.
As co-writer of the script, along with Alan McHugh, Smith shows how thoroughly she gets under the skin of her subject.
It is a while though before we hear her sing, simply because SuBo kept her talent to herself for so long, but once she opens her mouth the hits keep coming with pop songs from the past five decades including Knock Three Times, Daydream Believer, Stuck in the Middle With You and an incredible rendition of Return, keeping the musical bouncing along.
The second act moves much faster showing the pressures and challenges Susan has faced since that audition - coping with fame.
The audition itself is cleverly done, with judge Simon Cowell appearing in a picture on a TV screen, and the press are painted as the villains of the piece.
After the rollercoaster of emotions the anticipation of a live Susan Boyle appearance reaches fever pitch and she received standing ovations for both songs she performed.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening which shows everyone should dare to dream.