PATRICIA Boe must be a very proud lady.
Not every mother gets to watch her lad receive a hero’s welcome at an Opera House drenched in pride and emotion.
During Alfie’s penultimate song – an epic version of The Rolling Stones’ Shine A light – he leapt from the stage, ran to his mother in the seventh row and kissed her on the cheek.
She wiped away a tear as her son embarked on a hectic lap of the theatre’s three tiers to thank the Blackpool crowd for their support.
This was a triumphant return for the Fleetwood lad, a slick and dizzyingly classy evening when, backed by a 15-piece band and two excellent backing singers, he delivered some of his most loved songs.
Most enjoyable of all for me were the quieter moments, like The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face or Bring Him Home from Les Mis (‘Hugh who?’ shouted some wag from the audience), when Boe‘s superb voice could then be heard in all its raw glory.
He spoke about how pleased he was to be home and at one point invited his niece’s son, Mikey, on stage.
The little lad almost stole the show, playing drums and being generally loveable (‘aww’ sighed all the middle-aged women in the audience, of which there were plenty).
The biggest compliment I can pay Boe is that I can imagine him still working in a garage, just like he used to in Bispham before being discovered. Despite his fame, he has managed to retain a lovely sense of humour and a down-to-earth Northern manner.
An excellent performance from a man at his peak, enjoying life, and clearly delighted to be back in the place where it all began.
Alfie Boe takes to the Opera House stage again tonight.