Martine McCutcheon shines as she brings intimate tour to Hunstanton
- Credit: Abigail Holloway Hellens @ Lauri
It was like Martine was sitting in your front room having a chat with you over a cuppa.
The 41-year-old’s Up Close and Personal tour was an evening of music and memories as the star of stage and screen talked us through the soundtrack of her life.
From her early days growing up without a father to becoming “tart with a heart” Tiffany Mitchell in Eastenders and then a chart-topping popstar - her life has been far from dull.
Martine speaks openly and honestly throughout the intimate two hour show, conversing with ease to the audience at Hunstanton’s stunning Princess Theatre.
Her chatty, friendly persona gets the crowd giggling as she name drops some of her favourite showbiz moments from the past two decades - including being bridesmaid at Liza Minnelli’s wedding and that kiss with Hugh Grant in Love Actually.
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“I was so scared,” she explains when speaking about her first encounter with the cast of 2003 Christmas movie.
“But the late, great Alan Rickman put me at ease when he turned to me and said ‘we’re all scared - we just act like we’re not’.
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A Q&A section was also included, before Martine’s edgy vocals were stripped back for an acoustic set from her latest album Lost and Found.
Gone are the dodgy dance moves and blonde highlights that came with her pop career in the early noughties and here lies a more mature, rockier sound that takes us on the journey of her hiatus from the spotlight in recent years.
Lost and Found peaked at number 17 on the UK Albums Chart last year, becoming her highest-charting album since the release of debut You, Me & Us in 1999.
The upbeat singles Say I’m Not Alone and Any Sign of Life easily get the feet tapping, while old hits such as Talking in Your Sleep and Perfect Moment strike a chord as Martine’s haunting vocals echo throughout the venue.
The show adorns a strong creativity with her husband and producer Jack McManus, who is also close by on the keyboard.
And even the crowd can’t resist jumping to their feet as the evening comes to a close with a cover of Donna Summer’s On the Radio.
While Martine may have been lost to the music scene since 2002 - she was certainly found in Hunstanton last night.