Words + Photos by Frank Ralph

Tonight’s show at The Grand Theatre in Leeds is a bit different to shows I normally go to, but then again I’ve always been a massive Mel B fan, so I wasn’t going to miss the chance to see her in conversation in the ‘Brutally Honest and Fabulous, Evening with…’ show. A chance to get up close and personal with THE best Spice Girl, in her hometown.

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Most stars wouldn’t put themselves in the position Mel B has tonight, ready to openly discuss her story in front of an audience, but then again most stars aren’t as down to earth, humble or as funny as she is – and most certainly don’t have a story as compelling and worth listening to as hers.

The show is focused around an interview format with Louise Gannon asking the questions. Nobody is more able to do this than Louise having spent a couple of years with Mel on and off the road helping to write her book Brutally Honest.

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With a union jack sofa each they bounce off each other and the connection and rapport the two have makes for an engaging discussion that ranges in subjects from sex toys, her abusive 10 year marriage – which she was lucky to escape from alive – to future plans for The Spice Girls after their triumphant return this year, which as far as we’re told is 90% certain to feature a Glastonbury spot next year.

At times it’s hard to listen to some of the things Mel has had to go through, especially as a fan and someone who cares, it’s harrowing watching her video diary and the way she describes the abuse she was subjected to in the past. But, and this is the beauty of Mel B, she can crack a joke and fill the room with her laughter to break the tension. Her memories of her dad’s final moments are sad but that loss made her leave ‘The Monster’ and helped her reunite with her family.

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In the first half of the night we get a visit from the show-stealing Cookie, her tiny Yorkie dog who goes about his business as the interview proceeds. We also get a mock Spice Girls performance with 4 audience members joining Mel for the Stop routine, 3 of them nail it, but mock Geri was a bit slack I’m afraid. We also get a heart-warming proposal during the ‘Ask Me Anything’ section of the show, which was a beautiful moment.

After the interval her eldest daughter Phoenix Chi and her mother Andrea joined Mel on stage to discuss Mel’s new life back in the UK, and the loss of Andrea’s room to Mel’s wardrobe. Were it not for Cookie being present, Mel’s mum Andrea may well have stolen the show herself as she was hilarious – and you could see in her why Mel is so down to earth also.

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When asked about the effects of an abusive relationship on the children Phoenix speaks eloquently about feeling powerless to help and feeling separated from her closest friend, her mum. She shows herself to be a remarkable young woman.

As the show comes to a close with some questions from the audience, it’s clear that Mel sees her future clearly focused on doing more music and shows with the Spice Girls and getting ever closer with her family again. She shows her rebellious side by taking more questions than she’s allowed to and when the lights go up gets the crowd dancing along to I Will Survive.

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As I said Mel’s story is a compelling one, no woman should have to go through what she has, and I wish she hadn’t, but she’s made it through the other side and come out stronger and better for it and someone in her position being able to speak candidly about those things will surely help other women who find themselves in the same position, which I can only applaud. It was an engrossing and fabulous night, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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See the full photoset from tonight’s show here.

One Response to “An Evening with Mel B at The Grand Theatre, Leeds, UK – 25th August 2019”

  1. Kate Says:

    I want to watch this…. youtube dailymotion…. I am in New Zealand. Also, was her sister Danielle involved??

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