Julie Andrews` fans demand refund after O2 gig

Updated: May 10, 2010, 14:04 PM IST

London: Call it a major setback for the septuagenarian singer-actress but some fans of Dame Julie Andrews are demanding a refund after her much-awaited musical show at London O2 Arena last weekend turned out to be "a car crash of musical theatre".

Several of the 10,000 audience members had walked out of the gig by the interval, with some even calling for a refund.

Although the concert had been advertised as "An Evening With Julie Andrews", her backing group did almost all of the singing.

Dame Julie, 74, sang in full only a handful of numbers, disappeared from the stage for large chunks of the show, and concluded the performance by reading aloud from a children``s book she co-wrote with her daughter.

Staging her first concert in Britain after 30 years, Dame Julie had warned fans that her voice had not fully recovered from a botched throat operation in 1997.

However, some fans who shelled out up to 140pounds for a ticket to the O2 show were unsympathetic.

"The evening was a complete sham. She ``sang`` for about 30 seconds in the first hour by which time we were so outraged we went to attempt to get a refund. Considering how the excitement and anticipation held by most of the audience, it is heartbreaking to now have a tainted view of Dame Julie," the Telegraph quoted one commenter on an online review, as writing.

A reader of the West End Whingers theatre blog wrote: "We were six rows from the front, and were disappointed to see that every word she spoke, came from the cue cards below, stripping out any spontaneity from the experience."

Even critics have panned Dame Julie.

Mark Shenton, who writes reviews for entertainment mag The Stage, said: "I``ve seldom seen so many walkouts during the course of a show, and the pace only accelerated in the second act.

"Not since an arena stage production of Ben-Hur last year staged a series of intentional chariot crashes here have I witnessed such an unintentional pile-up of car-crash musical theatre."