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John Barrowman (Manchester)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Musical theatre and west end performer John Barrowman arrived at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester to get the party started. Probably best known for his TV roles in Dr Who, Torchwood and Tonight's The Night, this concert tour allows Barrowman to do what he is really best at – entertain people.

From the opening number to his final signature song, ‘I Am What I Am’, this is a runaway train of a show and the audience are pulled along for the ride. Not content with singing, Barrowman takes the opportunity to share parts of his life with his fans, who make up the majority of the audience.

However, he refuses to take himself too seriously, and his good humour is infectious. Stories and photos from his youth take you through his life, all told in a way which shows off his engaging personality. He seems to enjoy himself throughout the show - which rubs off on the audience, making it more than simply a musical event.

For this year's tour his special guest is I'd Do Anything winner Jodie Prenger. She has a hugely powerful voice, which she uses to great effect, although the musical arrangement of a couple of her numbers seemed a little odd. Her interaction with Barrowman shows a natural friendship and their giggles encourage the audience to laugh with them.

With a highly talented group of musicians and the equally talented and lovely J4 dancers as companions on the stage, Barrowman sings his heart out for nearly three hours and makes it a real evening of entertainment.

- Helen Jones


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