The “fairy tale” (a phrase uttered about 20 times) story of the very public transformation of a slightly odd, socially awkward, middle aged Scottish virgin to global singing sensation is understandably irresistible.
So it’s a shame that in I Dreamed a Dream the odd, socially awkward Susan Boyle has been replaced with an “inner” Susan Boyle and that Elaine C Smith – while in possession of an excellent singing voice – is not a singing sensation.
The result is the rather pedestrian story of an ordinary woman with an ordinary life who (eventually) wins a talent competition and becomes famous.
There is a lovely sequence set in a local club in which – in terrifying echoes of Andrew’s youth – people dance the Slosh to “Una Paloma Blanca” and Andy Gray does a quite accomplished turn as an overly entertaining karaoke host. But this has only very occasional moments of joy and/or inventiveness – notably a toe-tapping rendition of “Stuck in the Middle with You” by a line of Britain’s Got Talent contestants waiting to go on.
You know you’re in trouble when the cast have to dance on with coloured balloons indicating happiness. They were singing “Perfect Day” anyway, even Phil had got the gist of that one.
But the really tantalising (to us) stuff is only alluded to: the surreality of Demi Moore’s involvement in sending Ms Boyle “viral” and the idea that far from rubbing their hands with glee the BGT mandarins were panicking over the loss of control over an otherwise well-engineered story.
And anyway, this is all so 2009. It is time for the story of a slightly socially awkward canine who becomes a global sensation. Come on Elaine C Smith. Pull your finger out and get the wardrobe working on that giant dog out outfit.
That will get the Whingers back to Southend which is where we saw I Dreamed a Dream at the Cliffs Pavillion and ate chips in a hut on the prom which was awesome.
Oh, and no the real Susan Boyle didn’t pop up at the end which according to the poster she “is expected to appear at all performances subject to unforeseen circumstances.” Unforeseen by whom is not clear. Appearing on the BGT final as it happened. So not unforeseen after all.