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I Dreamed a Dream (Tour - Manchester)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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I Dreamed a Dream is about the rags to riches experience of the popular singer Susan Boyle.
Long before her appearance on Britain’s Got Talent, she dreamed a dream of becoming a singer as successful as Elaine Page.  For 47 years the girl deemed ‘simple’ because she was starved of oxygen at birth, dreamed that dream from her parents’ council house.  
She dreamed through her first communion, through singing lessons and through a karaoke night at a pub where glimmers of her genius showed through when she sang "Someone to Watch Over Me."  She needed a watchful angel when auditioning for the TV show that changed her life, when, in a very amusing scene, she voiced "Stuck in the Middle with You" along with countless other hopefuls.
Her journey is described not by Susan herself but by actress Elaine C Smith who co-wrote the show with Alan McHugh. Elaine conveys the frustrations, the reaction to bullying, the sheer hardness of life even after Susan's successful TV appearances. She understands what makes her character tick and conveys it in unforgettable speech and song supported by 11 other actors and a seven piece band.
But Smith’s amazing performance can’t match the real thing. That treat comes at the end, as Susan Boyle, dressed in sparkling black, arrives hesitantly on stage to take us by storm in a performance that sweeps us off our feet to clap and whoop.
We marvel when we hear her magical rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream" and realise why the nation fell in love with her in the first place. This is not only her dream come true but ours too.

- Julia Taylor


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