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Jane Macdonald serenades Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:54 03 March 2010

YOU can take the girl off the cruise ship but there is no way you are going to get the cruise out of that girl.

Jane Macdonald was back in Ipswich Saturday night and the fans were delighted.

YOU can take the girl off the cruise ship but there is no way you are going to get the cruise out of that girl.

Jane Macdonald was back in Ipswich Saturday night and the fans were delighted.

The show was opened with an instrumental rendition of 'Music was my First Love', written by John Miles. Technically the band was good but they started as they meant to go on. It was show music; a sugar coated tribute to cabaret and karaoke.

When Jane arrived on stage she belted out the opening number and it has to be said that whatever your musical tastes she can sing.

A medley of Bert Bacarach songs was to follow. Jane cited him as one of her favourite writers.

The songs lost their individuality and instead paid homage to smoky working men's clubs and of course the ubiquitous nods to life on a cruise.

Near the end of the first half she sang a selection of her own songs, including 'The Hand that Leads Me'.

There is no denying she gives the audience exactly what they want. They think she is the next door neighbour. The woman who sings down the pub on a Sunday night and drinks Malibu and Coke.

She is this, but she is also a shrewd businesswoman who knows exactly what it takes to be your best friend.

The second half took on a slightly surreal feel with Jane dressed as a startled blue tulip singing jazz.

Her last costume change saw her in a pink Elvis outfit. It got even more surreal as a pink Elvis sat in a jazz bar singing the hits of Jane Macdonald.

Her voice is strong and has perfect pitch but she has the tendency to take the song down a key and sing far too loud, losing any delicacy that may have lingered.

There were touching moments when she sang a surprisingly brilliant 'Memories', a song which has for countless years belonged to Barbara Streisand. At the end she paid tribute to her late father with a stirring ballad.

Jane Macdonald is the woman who got famous by accident and has never really got over it. By the end of the show it is hard not to feel an affinity with her. Her ordinariness is her real star quality.

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