REVIEW: Kylie Minogue was brought to tears on stage at the Royal Albert Hall by the strength of her audience's reaction as she brought Christmas to London's iconic auditorium with the help of a few of her famous friends. The Australian performer delighted fans with a stunningly theatrical two-hour performance which included lavish stage costumes, a full orchestra, a band, a choir and flurry of real snow.
Performing beneath an enormous disco ball, the 48-year-old singer wowed the crowd with a mixture of Christmas classics, recent releases and a fun journey through her much-loved back catalogue. At one point Kylie, dressed in a rainbow-striped gay pride dress, was joined by famed mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins for a stunning rendition of Your Disco Needs You. Clearly in awe of her co-performer, the former Neighbours star grinned from ear to ear as she hugged her pal post-performance and gushed over her outfit ("didn't she look cute?").
Kylie modestly insisted Jenkins does the "opera singing I just pretend to do," however, the diminutive pop princess proved herself to be absolutely able to keep up with her co-star vocally. But while the strength of her vocals were impressive all night long, it was her palpable sense of joy that truly resonated with her crowd.
Whether it's the happiness in her personal life ("kisses, cuddles and a cup of tea in bed" is all she has on her list for Santa; fiancé Joshua Sasse is unlikely to complain) or the delight she evidently felt in taking to the stage in such a historic building, Kylie's ability to be utterly comfortable in her own skin and at peace with all parts of her wide-ranging career left her audience literally screaming for more.
And as she explained that her return to the Albert Hall for the second year in a row was the start of what would become a yearly festive tradition, her fans went wild.
Clearly overcome with emotion, Kylie wiped tears away from her eyes and left centre stage to grab a towel to mop her cheeks, before thanking the unsilencable crowd for reminding her why she does what she does.
Brought back to the stage for an encore, Kylie enlisted the help of her audience to sing Jason Donovan's part of her Especially for You duet, before leaving the stage to I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day.
There might not be another performer who would be able to pull off such an extravagantly camp and delightedly cheesy performance complete with dancing yetis, glitter-painted male dancers and walking, dancing Christmas baubles. But you wouldn't want anybody else to do it. And there's no doubt that Kylie's legion of fans will be back next year to drink the Christmas cheer right in for the third time.