Monday, 30 September 2013

The Bodyguard the Musical: Theatre Review

The Bodyguard has to be one of the most iconic films of all time, Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner’s performances have gone down in history. Recreating such a huge film on stage is a risky thing; it will always be compared to original film. Fortunately, the stage version really stands on its own two feet. With a few adjustments to the story it has been translated onto stage perfectly. The Bodyguard tells the story of worldwide superstar Rachel Marron (NOT Whitney Houston) and how she is being stalked by an obsessed fan. Frank Farmer is brought in as her new bodyguard to try and control the situation whilst working with people to catch the stalker. 
If you’re a fan of the film then you might be put off by the fact that there have been a few changes in the story but I actually think its for the best and the changes make the characters a lot more interesting. I’m not going to mention any of these however, you’ll need to find out for yourself! I have previously seen the show in previews and didn’t like it, there was just something missing from the production. Something I couldn’t put my finger on. Upon returning everything I thought about it before had disappeared, its a very clean and smooth show and the thing I thought was missing (whatever that was!) is definitely there! It moves like a movie, with fast paced scenes and the variety of locations created by Tim Hatley’s set. 
Tim has created a very smooth set design that seems very simple but is obviously majorly technical. Personally I am very surprised that he didn’t win any awards for this. Thea Sharrock has managed to keep the essence of the original film there but still make this a completely new story, the direction she wanted to take with this show is very clear and she has brought a new life to this classic tale. A mention must also be made for the projection design on this show, by Duncan McLean. Its not over used in the production but when it is used it is flawless. 
Beverley Knight is the star of the show, for someone who has never had any musical theatre experience before she will blow your mind! She really feeds off the audience and what she gives back is an unforgettable performance. She really makes Rachel Marron a real person, she hasn’t made her into a Hollywood Diva but into someone who is a working mother. Her Rachel is very true and she really understands what she is going through which gives the audience a whole new outlook onto the character. Her vocals are insane, perfect and faultless. Within her renditions of the songs she pays homage to Whitney Houston but still puts her own stamp on it. 
Tristan Gemmill is everything I imagine Frank Farmer to be! He’s hard on the outside and never will back down but on the inside he is a real family man. Tristan puts up a very strong front through out the whole performance but occasionally he’ll show us the softer side which makes the audience be completely on his side. He and Beverley Knight have so much charisma on stage, a very different relationship than it has previously been played. 
Debbie Kurup as Nicki Marron is so natural, she seems to really know Nikki inside out. There is no trying with her which is so great to watch, most of the changes in the story are to do with Nicki which has meant that Debbie has been able to really get underneath her skin and almost create a new character. She really shines in this show. The rest of the cast are stunning, they’re all having a blast on stage and its so enjoyable to watch. A special mention to Carole Stennett, Nicky Griffiths and Kyle Seeley who caught my eye whenever on stage. 
The show is great, its a very stunning production and overall its a very enjoyable performance. A show that will appeal to everyone, I’d definitely recommend seeing this on your next trip to London’s West End.

Rating: ****

The Bodyguard is running at the Adelphi Theatre

Cast Includes: Beverley Knight, Tristan Gemmill, Debbie Kurup, Michael Rouse, Richard Lloyd-King, Stephen Marcus, Dominic Taylor, Stuart Reid, Elliot Aubrey, Mark Jones, Anton Joseph, Michael Matias, Joelle Moses, Gareth Andrews, Kimball Armes, Christopher Birch, Hannah Fairclough, Robert Gill, Nicky Griffiths, Ben Harrold, Jamie Hughes-Ward, Alex Jackson, Genesis Lynea, Fergal McGoff, Sara Morley, David O’Mahony, Stuart Rogers, Kyle Seeley, Danielle Steers, Carole Stennett, Katy Stredder and Christopher Terry. 

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