out for Royal show in capital
CORNWELL ARTS CORRESPONDENT
25 Nov 2003
Queen arrives at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre
its inimitable mix of rock, pop, opera and kitsch,
the Royal Variety Performance came to Edinburgh
last night for the first time in 75 shows.
although singer Rachel Stevens may have been the
talk of the tabloids, it was Osmondmania that
carried the day as Donny and his five singing
brothers staged a retro reunion at the capital’s
night saw the opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti hobble
on to the stage with a broken knee to sing for
the Queen 40 years after performing for her at
former boxer, Frank Bruno, made a cameo appearance,
his first since he was hospitalised with depression
Irish boy-band Westlife, chart-toppers Busted
and Daniel Bedingfield, and the jazz pianist Jamie
Cullum were among those who joined the musical
lately of S Club 7 and now a top solo artist,
sang her single Sweet Dreams My LA Ex. She had
promised: "I will raunch it up for The Queen."
end result fell somewhat flat, with eight male
dancers dressed in black doing suggestive press-ups
with spindly whips and token chains.
Bhoy, the Scottish-Indian comedian, a well-known
name on the Fringe, used his minutes in the royal
limelight to the full with a risqué and
Osmond made his British debut with his brothers
at the Royal Variety Performance in 1971. Now
45, he returned yesterday with Jimmy, Wayne, Merrill,
Jay and Alan. The ran a medley of 70s hits, such
as Love Me For a Reason and Crazy Horses.
of the performers enthused yesterday about sharing
the stage with the Osmonds and visiting Edinburgh.
I looked, there was an Osmond," said Mattie
Jay, of Busted, the chart-topping group who profess
to be more than a boy band. "I love Edinburgh.
We looked out of our hotel room as soon as we
arrived and we said, like, a castle."
Royal Variety Performance may not have the international
youth audience of the MTV Awards, but once again
Edinburgh got a touch of celebrity fever.
Osmond signed autographs along Princes Street.
"We care about this performance," he
said. "A lot of people are going to be watching
it, especially Her Majesty, and we have to please
all proceeds going to the Entertainment Artistes’
Benevolent Fund, the line-up included Latin music
queen Gloria Estefan and New Zealand’s teen
diva, Hayley Westenra.
16, had arrived in Edinburgh on the heels of performing
for George Bush and the Queen at Buckingham Palace
last week. She is to sing You’ll Never Walk
Alone at Parkhead tonight for the Celtic versus
Bayern Munich match.
who picked up a winter coat at the Princes Street
Mall, is a formidably well- spoken teen who was
travelling with her mother.
love Edinburgh," she said. "It’s
just so gorgeous, the castle, the cobbled streets.
Everything is so picturesque."
her performance proved one of the evening’s
most bizarre. She opened with a traditional Maori
tune, with nine tribal performers with feathers
in their hair, then faded into Amazing Grace with
a bagpipe accompaniment.
idea of a Royal Command Performance was first
aired in 1911, and Edinburgh was in contention
to be the venue. But last night’s show,
marking its 75th anniversary after interruptions
for wars and royal funerals, was only the second
time it has left London.
night was heavy on Scottish flavour from the start,
the ScottishPower, Strathclyde Police and Drambuie
Kirkliston pipe bands bursting on stage with Flower
Humphries arrived as Dame Edna Everage dressed
as a Scottish thistle - the "national weed".
Corbett joked about the Scottish parliament fiasco.
"This is Edinburgh with the inspiring new
parliament building," he said. "It has
been described as a symphony of architecture.
It’s a pity it’s an unfinished symphony".
was heavy security around the Festival Theatre,
from the thick-set bouncers hired by producers
Granada Television to Lothian and Borders Police
teams combing the building repeatedly with bomb-sniffing
dogs. But organisers insisted the level of security
was not unusual.
always have bomb-sniffing dogs, everybody’s
bag has always been searched," said a spokeswoman
edited programme will be shown on ITV tomorrow
night - 26th November @ 9.0pm
VIDEO EXCERPTS and STILLS FROM THE BROADCAST