The Susan Boyle musical, I DREAMED A DREAM, has its official opening last night at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle. We've gathered together all of the reviews.
The role of Susan Boyle is played by Elaine C Smith. The roles of ‘Pat’ and ‘Bridie Boyle’ (Susan’s parents) are played by James Paterson and Karen Mann; the role of ‘Lorraine Campbell’, Susan’s childhood friend, is played by Ashleigh Gray; Susan’s manager ‘Andy Stephens’ is played by Jeffrey Harmer, and Liz Ewing takes the role of ‘Mrs Johnstone’, Susan’s school teacher. Alan McHugh co-wrote I DREAMED A DREAM alongside Elaine C Smith.
Susan Boyle made a special guest appearance at the opening night, singing "I Dreamed a Dream" and "Who I Was Meant to Be."
About the show: "The musical tells the story of Susan Boyle’s life, from her birth…and the hand which life dealt her…up to the present day. From her humble beginnings of being born into a large working-class family in central Scotland, and sharing a three-bedroomed council house with a family of ten…to where she is today - a global star and an inspiration to millions - a woman who beat the odds and changed the way the world looked at people.
"I DREAMED A DREAM takes the audience through the experiences which have made Susan the woman she has become; the pain of lost love, the heart-breaking tragedy and loss of the anchors in her life, and being cut adrift in a lonely, threatening world, then finding strength and solace in her faith, to the life changing experience of Britain’s Got Talent."
The production is directed by Ed Curtis, choreographed by Nick Winston, designed by Morgan Large, lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Richard Brooker, video design by Jack James with musical supervision and orchestrations by Kennedy Aitchinson. I DREAMED A DREAM is produced by Michael Harrison.
All the reviews:
Dominic Cavendish, Telegraph: "[Elaine C Smith's] eerie impersonation of the singer strikes all who hear it dumb with awe. [...] The overall shape of the show is hard to fault, and in matching the gutsy good humour of its heroine without stooping to hagiography, this is a delight that deserves to go far, and fast, as she has done."
Patrick Marmion, Daily Mail: "Ed Curtis’s production, performed before a bank of TV screens, is more than just a get-rich-quick scheme or a piece of craven hagiography. It’s also a jolly good knees-up. Between moments of throat-clearing reverentiality and tear-stained crooning, there is much fun to be had."
Joyce McMillan [?], Scotsman: "There is a kind of paradox at the heart of this version of Susan Boyle’s story, in that it comes in the form of a first-person narrative, and therefore gives a powerful, articulate speaking voice to a woman famously able to express herself best through the songs she sings; the Susan conjured up for us by Elaine C Smith, in a tremendously effective and moving star performance, almost inevitably has a confidence and presence, when not singing, that Boyle famously lacked."