The Bodyguard

July 12, 2019 | By | Reply More

★★★★☆    A Triumph

Edinburgh Playhouse: Tue 9 – Sat 20 July 2019
Review by Sarah Moyes

Alexandra Burke proves she’s Queen of the Night once more as The Bodyguard returns to the Playhouse for a fortnight residency.

The musical, which opened in London’s West End in 2012, follows the same plot as the 1992 Oscar nominated film starring Whitney Houston. Rachel Marron, a famous pop singer hires a former secret service agent as her new bodyguard to protect her from an unknown stalker.

Alexandra Burke and Benoît Maréchal. Pic: Paul Coltas

Alexandra Burke’s performance is nothing short of spectacular as she returns to the role of Rachel Marron, a part that she knows very well. Burke first trod the boards in the West End in 2014, and this is her second subsequent UK and Ireland tour.

The musical opens with a full-on concert performance of Queen of the Night with bright flashing lights and fire that shots up into the air from the front of the stage. It’s the perfect introduction to the character of Rachel and shows you exactly why Burke was given this role as she commands the stage with her every move.

The role of the bodyguard Frank Farmer is played by the brooding Benoît Maréchal and while Rachel might not want to know him in the beginning, the pair soon grow closer as their relationship develops.

While the subject matter of a stalker gives a serious message to the story, there are many light-hearted moments along the way thanks to Maréchal’s dry sense of humour.

Impressive

Micha Richardson is wonderful as Rachel’s sister Nicki. As an accomplished singer herself, Nicki struggles to live under Rachel’s shadow as her popularity continues to soar. The fact they have both fallen for the bodyguard certainly doesn’t help matters – but it does lead to them both pouring their feelings out in a beautiful rendition of Run To You, which is one of the musical highlights of the first act.

Alexandra Burke and dancers. Pic:Paul Coltas

The Bodyguard’s set is impressive and it’s not often that you see such a big scale set for a touring production of a show. It makes good use of a huge screen to portray the early movements of Rachel’s stalker played by Phil Atkinson adding to the suspense of the story line.

However, in other scenes he appears without his top on and the wolf whistles and subsequent laughs from the audience do take away from the intended effect of a terrifying stalker persona.

The show is packed with some of Whitney Houston’s best numbers which flow really well into the story. There a real mix of music from the big dance numbers like I’m Every Woman to a poignant Jesus Loves Me and powerful I Have Nothing. Of course, it wouldn’t be The Bodyguard without I Would Always Love You which Alexandra Burke performs flawlessly.

It’s testament to the whole cast, that the entire audience is on their feet before they’ve even started to take their bows. And that’s exactly where they remain as the cast raise the roof with a highly energetic performance of I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

Whether you’re a fan of the film or not, The Bodyguard is a musical theatre triumph that will have you singing Whitney Houston songs the whole way home.

Running time: Two hours and 15 minutes (including one interval)
Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, EH1 3AA
Tuesday 9 – Saturday 20 July 2019
Evenings Mon – Sat: 7.30pm; Thurs, Sat matinees: 2.30pm
For tickets and information: Click here to book now.

The original cast recording is available from Amazon. Click image for details:

The Bodyguard on tour:
9-20 July 2019 Edinburgh
Playhouse
0844 871 3014 Book online
23 July – 3 August 2019 Newcastle
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
08448 11 21 21 Book online
7-17 August 2019 Dublin
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
0844 847 2455 Book online
21-31 August 2019 Plymouth
Theatre Royal
01752 267222 Book online
13 September – 6 October 2019 Tokyo
Tokyu Theatre Orb
Book online
11 – 20 October 2019 Osaka
Umeda Arts Theater Main Hall
Book online
5-9 November 2019 Aberdeen
His Majesty’s Theatre
01224 641122 Book online
12-23 November 2019 Sunderland
Sunderland Empire
0844 871 3022 Book online
26 November – 7 December 2019 Bradford
The Alhambra Theatre
01274 432000 Book online
10 December 2019 – 4 January 2020 Manchester
Palace Theatre
0844 871 3019 Book online
8 – 18 January 2020 Dartford
Orchard Theatre
01322 220000 Book online
21 January – 1 February 2020 Birmingham
The Alexandra Theatre
0844 871 3011 Book online

ENDS

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