She was born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien in Enfield in 1939,she died in 1999 of Breast Cancer.

Hundreds of fans joined friends and celebrities at the funeral in Henly on Thames,The Pet Shop boys,Elvis Costello and Lulu spoke at her funeral, You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, played as her coffin was brought into the church.

Sixty years of that life,beginning on stage as a nervous Dusty waits to launch her solo career on Ready Steady Go live from ITV’s Rediffusion Studios through to her collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys over 20 years later bringing that voice into the homes of a new generation and rescuing Dusty from addiction and oblivion on America’s West Coast

And what a voice, excellently interpreted here by Katherine Kingsley, shut your eyes and it could have been her for real, open them and their was the peroxide blonde wig and eyeliner as well as an amazing assortment of dresses.

Here is a life laid out, all the ups and downs,the turbulence, the dramas, the addictions, the relationship with her mother played by Roberta Taylor, with her manager played by Rufus Hound and her lover Lois played by the brilliant Joanna Francis.

But don’t let the personal battles disguise the brilliance of Dusty,the woman who brought Motown to Britain, the top female singer of 1966, sharing the bill with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones at the NME Winners concert.

This was the diva who began life in a folk and country-based group called the Springfields with a brother and whose voice would pluck her to solo stardom, up there with the greatest,Aretha Franklin,Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick who like them put her distinctive signature on a song,

There were some downsides to the show, notably the comedy innuendo, often mistakenly poking fun and hinting at Dusty’s personal life and the scene in a Johannesburg hotel as Dusty refused to play to a segregated audience was rather catapulted onto the stage though rescued by Katherine’s rendition of You Don’t own me.

That apart this was a brilliant night,perfectly summed up by the audience rising in unison to applaud at the end.

Dusty runs until the 28th July at the Lyric Theatre Lowry Centre Details


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