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ED FRINGE REVIEW Michelle McManus, Reloaded


12 years ago, Michelle McManus was the second winner of Pop Idol and went on to have two top 20 singles including a number one and a number three album.

The one-woman show is co-written with comedian Bruce Devlin and is an upfront take on life since winning Pop Idol along with some of her all-time favourite songs. She also recounts some of the ups and downs of her life as a reality TV show winner, from partying with Robbie Williams to singing for the Pope.

"I've just been sat in the middle of Edinburgh in a large tent with Michelle McManus" is a sentence I never thought I'd say. But yesterday, that's exactly what happened.

There are three things I learnt from watching Michelle McManus yesterday; that she has a great sense of humour, a great voice and is very humble about her life since winning Pop Idol.

Kicking things off, Michelle begins by discussing the fact that following her glittering career, she's still stuck in this tent in the middle of Edinburgh and " she hasn't been electrocuted" she'll never know.

Wearing a slightly cabaret head piece, Michelle references the fact that her feather headband was indeed "£2.99 from that there Ebay" - Who said Pop Idol changed her eh?

She goes on to discuss her Twitter spat with Lily Allen, her time spent with Gillian McKeith on You Are What You Eat and the time she had her photograph taken with the pope after performing with him.

Michelle also talks about how she came to a realisation recently that she loves a night out, and after that night out she enjoys a takeaway, and this she thinks is the reason for her weight. So she decided to stop eating takeaways (with much difficulty), but then tells the hilarious tale of the time she woke up with no sign of a takeaway anywhere, went to have a shower, and what pops out of her bra? A kebab!

As Valerie was playing on the radio at that time, that was the first song we were treated to, along with Bette Middler's From A Distance, Erasure's A Little Respect and her number one debut single All This Time.

There's no denying that Michelle is a great storyteller and commands the room brilliantly. She is naturally funny and whether her stories are real or not, she makes them so believable, natural and funny, that it doesn't really matter.

In fact at the end of the show Michelle told us how she had to point out that she doesn't really believe that she's a global superstar with a glittering career. She very humbly thanked us for all our support and is very grateful that the British public have stood by her in the last twelve years and that she can't believe the opportunities she's had.

She admits that the Michelle on stage is somewhat of a character, an exaggerated version of herself if you will... with a bit of truth chucked in for good measure I'm sure.

The one downside? She didn't discuss partying with Robbie Williams as advertised.

Michelle McManus: Reloaded runs in Edinburgh until the 31st August

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