Bev is Queen of the Night

The standing ovation for Beverley Knight said it all for - and the show hadn't even finished yet.

As Beverley Knight reached the soaring highs of I Will Always Love You, the audience rose to its feet.

There were tears, there were goosebumps, there were stunned faces: all down to the almost other-worldly talent of Ms Knight.

Now, we mean this is the nicest possible way, but the woman's a freak. How can anyone sing so beautifully? So powerfully? With so much soul? No, seriously, how? Someone please tell us because we can't quite believe it.

The show started with a gunshot that scared the crowd half to death and got its attention for the opener, Queen of the Night.

Beverley was fierce and faultless. It was perfection.

There's a few dodgy American accents and slightly strained pieces of dialogue in the first half but all is forgiven when Beverley sings. I Have Nothing, Run To You and One Moment In Time have to be seen to be believed. Quite simply, Bev took us all to church.

There were other superstar singers in the crowd watching, they should have just packed up, gone home and logged on to Fish4Jobs.

By the time the curtain fell on the first act, following that all-important kiss, the audience was breathless.

One of the stand-out moments was the defiant club scene, where Marron goes against her brooding bodyguard's wishes and takes to the stage. Clever lighting and slow-mo effects provide a nice build-up to what we're all waiting for - that famous lift where he carries her to safety. Swoon!

Gemmill is great in his strong-and-silent type role, allowing Beverley to fully shine in the limelight. She's the star and he knows it. A true gent.

Don't think Our Bev's a one-trick pony, mind. Sure, she can sing anyone off the park, look fab in a sparkly dress and get a crowd on its feet, but she can act too. The scene where she cradles her dying sister is truly moving. There were tears both on and off stage. And they were real.

I Will Always Love You is obviously the big finish and sees Beverley propelled to the ceiling in a shimmering gown so that the whole theatre can soak up each blissful note.

It's followed by a frothy and fun encore of I Wanna Dance With Somebody - a number that had an audience of London-tastic celebs dancing and clapping like primary school children after one too many Haribos. There was no room for posing or pretension here; Beverley was singing, and the Queen of the Night must be obeyed.

The Bodyguard is at the London Adelphi Theatre until March 8.

By Elizabeth Joyce

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