Collabro - Opera House, Winter Gardens

Collabro took a selfie on stage at the Opera House in Blackpool that they posted on Twitter.
Collabro took a selfie on stage at the Opera House in Blackpool that they posted on Twitter.
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Winning a TV talent contest is one thing, taking that talent on the road and proving yourselves night after night live on stage is another.

But judging by Saturday night’s performance from Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro, with guest artiste and show runner-up Lucy Kay, they’ve got what it takes to go far.

Michael Auger, Richard Hadfield, Jamie Lambert, Thomas Leak and Matthew Pagan only came together a month before their BGT audition in February last year, but their voices blend in beautiful harmony like they’ve worked together for years, backed by a nine-piece orchestra.

It would be easy to pass the five nice young men off on the Michael Ball audience, but judging by the number of 20-something women (OK, with their Ball loving mums and grans) they certainly have a broader appeal.

Their choice of songs backs up why a younger crowd can take to this new classical crossover act, or musical theatre boyband as they’re known.

Alongside the spine-tingling musicals classics, Anthem, I Dreamed A Dream and Tonight, there were p-opera versions of chart hits All Of Me by John Legend and 1,000 Years by Christina Perri – from the Twilight films soundtrack, so nicely tapping into the younger fan base.

The beautiful Falling Slowly from Once and With You from Ghost were nice contemporary theatre touches too.

Their take on Music Of The Night didn’t quite hit the same spot, lacking the dynamics to be truly dreamy, but spectacular renditions of Somewhere Over The Rainbow (their original choice for the BGT final, until some Simon Cowell fella intervened), Bring Him Home, and a stripped back version of I’ll Be There For You (the Friends theme song), pushed that into insignificance.

Support from guest star Lucy Kay and unsigned, folk-country singer songwriter Philippa Hanna, provided nice balance to the night’s programme – the ‘little bit strange’ Philippa will be sure to get the success she’s worked hard for on travelling to the States after this tour. There’s not much call for her style in this country, and it’s a shame she’s got to leave home for recognition. Despite having a sore throat, Lucy Kay still wowed the audience and filled the vast Opera House with a big voice that belies her tiny stature - gaining a well-deserved standing ovation for Nessun Dorma, which seemed to get folk in the mood for standing.

From there on in, every number had the audience on its feet until the final rapturous encore number Stars, which helped them seal their BGT fate.

And all of this was brought to us, and the rest of the nation by Fylde-grown production company Cuffe and Taylor, the team behind Lytham Proms, and Blackpool Rocks.

So, yes - Britain’s Got Talent, Collabro’s got talent, and their future as stars is without doubt.

Anna Cryer