A MUSICAL charting the life of Britain's Got Talent sensation Susan Boyle comes to the Liverpool Empire later this month.
I Dreamed A Dream will be staged at the city centre venue from April 17-21 as part of its current tour.
Leading the cast and orchestra is Elaine C Smith, star of hit West End stage play Calendar Girls, and who is best known for her portrayal of Mary Doll in BBC comedy Rab C Nesbitt.
On her latest role, Elaine told the Globe: "I was actually doing Calendar Girls in the West End when we saw Susan on Britain’s Got Talent.
"Apparently Susan saw me in Calendar Girls and said she'd like me to play her. Strange how things turned out. A couple of months later I did the audio book about her life story.
"Susan’s gone from singing karaoke to international stardom. It's an extraordinary story.
"When I read it I couldn't believe the parallels; we'd sung in the same working men's clubs."
Susan, 51, appeared as a contestant on the talent show in April 2009, singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables. She was beaten in the final by dance troupe Diversity.
Her first album was released later that year and debuted as the number one best-selling album on charts around the globe.
Elaine said: "I don’t want the show to be sing-a-long-a-Susan. There are some very dark passages in her life which feature in the show. For example she was bullied at school.
"We don't even get to Britain's Got Talent until the show’s second half.
"Susan’s been through a lot and is a very tough cookie. I think there's a tendancy for the press to put her down."
Susan is also due to appear in the show at the Liverpool Empire.
She said: "I am thrilled to be a part of the musical about my life story and very much looking forward to stepping on stage and performing with the cast.
"It is an honest portrayal of my life and has been a cathartic process to be involved in."
The show's producer Michael Harrison said: "Having Susan join the cast to perform the finale of her musical is amazing for both ourselves and audiences across the UK and Ireland.
"Susan continues to defy the odds and surprise the world with her record-breaking albums.
"Now she can add a musical to her list of achievements and I can't wait to see the audience reaction when she walks on stage."
Tickets for the show are from the Empire box office on 0844 871 7660 or liverpool-empire.co.uk
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