Gig review: Susan Boyle, Edinburgh

Picture: Jane Barlow
Picture: Jane Barlow
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No matter what extravaganza they put behind Susan Boyle, she’s still the little lady you’d have a chat with over the garden fence while you hang out the washing.

You can almost see her having a giggle at home while she put together a rider for all the things she needs backstage on her first ever tour – a crate of Evian, some luxury cat food for Pebbles and maybe something outrageous just to wind up venue managers . . . a plate of blue Smarties arranged in the shape of a saltire 
maybe?

It’s that combination of familiar and mischievous that makes audiences display an extraordinary level of 
ownership over the Blackburn lass.

As she exited the stage at the end of the first act last night after a rousing rendition of You Raise Me Up, she gave the crowd a cheery wave and many of them enthusiastically mirrored her wave back.

It’s hard to think of any other performer who would make their audience so comfortable that they’d react with such warmth.

Supporting Boyle is a first rate team, including a choir from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the incomparable Lance Ellington as her duet partner and a confident, assured band.

Even as Boyle made her first appearance on stage, the audience were on their feet to welcome her, applauding their way through the selection of hits from all four of her albums, and a particularly lively execution of River Deep, Mountain High with Ellington. Her finale was, of course, I Dreamed a Dream.

Throughout, however, you couldn’t help but wonder if everyone in the auditorium wouldn’t rather be in Susan’s living room in slippers with a cup of tea having a singalong, Susan included.

• Run ends tonight.