James Burns

James Burns

Beyonce: The Mrs. Carter Show

What was my opinion on the Mrs. Carter Show, I hear you cry. Well, it’s a pants tour name for a start. Was Queen Bey so busy overseeing her empire, birthing a child (whom I have an extremely unhealthy fascination with) and penning the likes of 'Independent Women' and 'Single Ladies', that she just completely missed the female emancipation memo…?

But moving swiftly on: her vocal abilities – she opens her mouth and harp-strumming angels soar out. Her dancing – she can gyrate faster than a pneumatic drill, it's a vision to behold. I bet she can do an entire Insanity workout without even breaking a sweat. Her beauty – breath taking. There is simply no way she is borne of mortal human flesh. But was I completely enraptured?  No. As DJ Neil Fox once put it so eloquently whilst doing a stint on Pop Idol, it was like "biting in to a doughnut and finding that there's no jam in the centre"

Don't get me twisted, Queen Bey got mad skills, I say again – she just literally can't be human. And sure, the show was good, I had a nice time. She Fossied on the stage a bit, she Fossied on some stairs, she even Fossied on a grand piano at one point. Then we had a few montages on an overhead projector of her downwind of a blow fan, looking so beautiful you could believe she literally emanated sunlight from her face, and saying American things like "I am all of you. I am positivity. I am sensuality" (I made that bit up but I bet she has said it at some point before) – and it was all just a tiny bit rote.

I saw Pink in action earlier this week on her Truth About Love tour. She served me Cirque du Soleil on LSD, poured over rocks of insane vocal gymnastics, with a twist of the most sculpted abs known in the western world and a heavy-handed dash of hedonistic lesbianism. It was truly epic. And not in the flippant way that rah, Jack Wills wearing, rugger playing, toff uni LADS use the word neither.

With that taste still rolling deliciously around my mouth, a mere two days later – Beyonce had huge biker boots to fill. And alas, she fell short. Unlike Pink’s mouthwatering cocktail of a show that scintillated all of the senses, Bey served up an elaborate gold-plated tureen, brimful with bland, unsweetened porridge, which tasted all the more bitter because I knew what it could have been with just a dollop of honey thrown on top.

I mean, in a world where Dame Shirley Bassey is catapulted out of a stage at breakneck speeds, belting 'Get This Party Started', in a sequined body stocking, at the age of seventy – we've all just come to expect a little bit more, haven’t we? Especially from a world tour retailing at a hundred quid a ticket. Some zip wire action, couple of canons, entering the stage via the vaginal area of two twenty-foot splayed legs (Geri Halliwell was pulling that stunt off thirteen years ago and she probably only had a budget of about twenty-five quid) – just anything more than what we had, Bey’s singular prop – a spangly baseball cap. Which aside from being straight-up heinous, must have also wreaked havoc with her weave and brought me no visual pleasure whatsoever.

I know, I know, it should be all about the music, blah, blah, blah. And at a small, intimate gig – it would be. But in an arena that seats twenty thousand people? Call me unreasonable but I want SPECTACLE! I want fireworks firing out of every orifice and I want it with cherries on top. So in answer to the age-old question posed by Kristen Wiig in a Liza Minnelli skit on SNL: No, Mrs. Carter, a Fosse neck will not do it. Not for an entire two-hour show. Not anymore.

One final caveat: due to my unhealthy fascination mentioned earlier, I was yet further devo’d when Bey refrained from parading Blue Ivy around on stage at the end, like the Spice Girls did with their sproggs back in 2007. I guess I can concede that I shouldn’t hold her being a good mother against her, but it still came as a blow.

Kayleigh Llewellyn is a comedy writer and recipient of the 2012 BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum. You can follow her on Twitter @KayDLlew.

Pictured: The picture Beyonce didn't want you to see, Kayliegh as Blue Ivy with mother Bey.

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