Can you believe it was all the way back in 2003 when a young Glaswegian by the name of Michelle McManus won the hearts of British nation and was crowned the winner of Pop Idol? However, soon after her victory her career didn’t seem to go the way she had hoped it would. Reloaded is a one woman show where McManus jokes about her life and treats the audience to some of her favourite songs.

The mix of comedy and songs is one you don’t see every day. However, it does seem relevant here as McManus would tell a story about her life and would then perform a song she associates with that story. But the problem is once the stories dry up McManus performs random songs. So the show becomes half stand-up and half pop concert, although entertaining lacks a clear structure.

McManus is a very likable character and a natural storyteller, she makes you take notice of her and is never boring. There is so much detail packed into these stories that you really feel like you’re in the story with her.

The songs McManus sang on the night took us all the way from the 1980s up to the modern day, so there was something for all members of the audience to enjoy. However, I do feel the problem with a show like this is that if you’re a fan of Michelle you’ll love it, if you’re not so much of a fan then you won’t enjoy it as much.

McManus’ choices of songs were questionable. I really enjoyed her take on Lily Allen’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’. She had a story to tell which was funny and made it a relevant song choice. However, I wasn’t entirely convinced on her decision to take on an Adele song.

At just under two hours including a 20 minute interval the show is very short. I think the show in its current format would work better as a one act show, with the potential for two acts once more material is written.

When the show comes to a close McManus addressed the audience in a very sincere manner and we discover how down to earth she is. She comes across as genuinely a really nice person which I think earned her more respect.

Reviewer: Brian Madden

Reviewed: 10th November 2017

North West End Rating: ★★★★

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