Kylie Minogue's Showgirl tour was shaping up nicely as a lavishly costumed affair before it was cruelly truncated by her fight against breast cancer, so it's good to have a reminder of the singer at her peak, hopeful in the belief she'll soon be strutting her stuff on stage once again.
And strut she does here, like an exotic bird in the opening numbers, decked out in the famous jewel-encrusted creation of John Galliano, the headdress and tail combo a mere snip at £30,000. It makes quite a sight when raised to centre stage for a dance version of Better The Devil You Know, one of several Stock, Aitken & Waterman smashes redressed and given a new lease of life in 21st century clothing.
No effort or expense is spared on the stage show, inspired principally by 1930s art deco and given a good examination in the interesting featurette accompanying the main act. From the intricate choreography to the hundreds of dazzling costumes worn by the superb dancers, it is a visual treat. The movement on stage is mesmerising, whether it be the lone man shadowing Kylie in a sombre Confide In Me, or the extreme camp shown in a shower scene to kick off Red Blooded Woman.
Kylie's voice is an instrument transformed from its early days, allowing the musical director the chance to take a few liberties. A big band version of Locomotion goes down a treat, the singer pulling the tempo all over the shop, while a cutesy Over The Rainbow finds her perched on the edge of a glittering crescent moon, suspended over the audience.
The newer material presents a darker, less extrovert side to the show, but despite this finds opportunities for imaginative interpretation. The dancers spell out S-L-O-W at the end of the sultry lead single from Body Language, then the big club lighting takes over for Giving You Up and Shocked, segueing into an effective fusion of Spinning Around and the piano riff of Ce Ce Peniston's Finally.
The audience, anywhere between five and fifty years old, lap it all up, whether they are cross-dressing to the nines or proclaiming their Kylie loyalty since the 1980s. The real fans get some rarities for their money, too, which is the only place the momentum occasionally flags. There's a refreshing lack of inhibition elsewhere though, capped by a couple of priceless shots of embarrassing aisle dancing! It's something Kylie taps into on stage, with a real sense of joy in the closing encore of Love At First Sight, the singer boundlessly skipping round the stage, wreathed in smiles.
A proper dose of glitz and glamour then, and the big smile worn by this show stays put for some time afterwards.