Popular diva delights Spa audience

IT might be 12 years since Jane McDonald's career was sent skywards by appearing in docu-soap The Cruise, but much of her act has never left that luxury ship.

Jonathan Barnes

Jane McDonald, Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe, Saturday night

IT might be 12 years since Jane McDonald's career was sent skywards by appearing in docu-soap The Cruise, but much of her act has never left that luxury ship.

For a couple of hours on Saturday night, it was like a chunk of Felixstowe had been cut loose to float around the North Sea.


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McDonald clearly remains a premier cruise ship act - only now without the sea sickness and with an added pop star punch.

The 46-year-old diva knows her crowd and exactly how to work them - with a collection of solid gold classics, plenty of warm-hearted chat, a handful of Loose Women anecdotes and some tried and tested gags.

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She dedicates self-penned songs to her mother and late grandmother to balance out the saucy Northern humour with some genuine sentimentality. It's classic seaside cabaret, complete with note-perfect seven-piece band and three seasoned backing singers and dancers.

By the end - and a disco-themed medley for the encore - the largely female audience are on their feet, throwing themselves into the small gap between the front row and the stage for some delirious dancing.

McDonald, who sports three sparkly dresses during the evening, comes across as a warm and natural performer who clearly still has an outstanding voice.

And with every seat of the 900-capacity theatre filled she's never going to get lost at sea in the entertainment business. In fact, the future looks plain sailing.

JONATHAN BARNES

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