SUSAN Boyle has promised her fans “plenty of surprises” as she embarks on her first full live shows next week.
The Britain’s Got Talent star insisted she is “more excited than nervous” about taking to the stage.
Speaking to The Scotsman ahead of appearing in Inverness next week, she revealed she hopes to take her new production on tour overseas if the “pilot” shows go well.
She admitted she saw the initial run of seven shows as “baby steps” and that she had not felt ready to perform full live performances before now.
Boyle has had extensive vocal training to help her prepare for the shows, which will also take in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Promoters say her performances will have her army of fans “dancing in the aisles”. She will appear with a full backing band, including a pianist, a string section and a choir made up of musical theatre students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in Glasgow.
Four years after shooting to fame after a famous TV audition, now seen by more than 120 million people on YouTube, the woman dubbed “SuBo” broke off from rehearsals in Glasgow to speak about the brief tour.
She will appear alongside Lance Ellington, a session singer who has previously worked with stars such as Sting, George Michael and Tina Turner, and also makes regular appearances on Strictly Come Dancing.
It will see her appear in four different costumes to perform some of the most popular songs from her four albums, including I Dreamed a Dream, the song that made her world-famous, Wild Horses, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and River Deep, Mountain High.
She said: “I’ve been rehearsing in Glasgow for around a month now. It’s been pretty hard work, but also really enjoyable. I’d say I was excited and nervous about going on tour, but more excited than nervous.
“I think most artists get a bit nervous before they go on stage, but you just have to work through them.
“It is a big undertaking, but I feel I’m ready for it now. There will be lots of songs people will recognise in the shows, but plenty of surprises in there as well and other songs that people probably won’t know at all.”
Despite selling 19 million albums and topping the charts in more than 30 countries, she has only made brief live appearances in the UK and overseas.
She revealed that it was getting the chance to perform with her childhood idol Donny Osmond that had persuaded her to embark on a full tour.
“I felt ready after performing with Donny Osmond earlier this year,” she said. “I appeared with him on stage in various shows, including in Las Vegas. He was my favourite singer when I younger.”
She added: “I felt it would be better to build up a catalogue of work on the albums before doing a full concert.
“I’d definitely like to do more shows later on, maybe overseas, but it’s very much baby steps for me at the moment. If someone had told me three or four years ago I’d be doing a tour like this, I’d have told them I wasn’t ready, I’d have turned it down.
“But I’ve had a lot of help since then from the record company and my voice coach and I feel a lot more confident now.”
Ms Boyle still lives in her council house in Blackburn, West Lothian, despite buying a bigger property elsewhere in the area.
She shot to fame in April 2009 after her TV audition, which was filmed several months earlier at the SECC in Glasgow, was broadcast.