Review: 4**** The Bodyguard. The Marlowe @TheBodyguardUK ‏ @marlowetheatre

Everyone knows the The Bodyguard – the 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Cosner about the Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, who is hired to protect Rachel Marron from a stalker. As this is a romantic thriller, the inevitable happens and they fall in love.

I was expecting a lot from Alexander Burke and she did not disappoint. I know she has a fabulous voice and she has also shown her acting prowess recently in Sister Act and Chicago and she certainly delivered. Her voice was raspy and smooth to a point I was concerned that she may not hit the notes, but it was all part of the plan; she belted every number perfectly even when adding in energetic dance moves.

Benoît Maréchal takes on the role of Frank Farmer. Marécha has previously been in the French production and, while he has good chemistry with Burke and the rest of the cast, the American accent slipped regularly, giving a slight “Arnie” twang which was at times a bit distracting.

Micha Richardson as Nikki Marron, Rachel’s jealous sister also had the chance to show off some stunning vocals.  Aside from Burke’ and Richardson’s impressive voices, the person that stole the show Rachel’s 10-year-old son Fletcher played by Caelan Edie, who was truly brilliant in the role. He has oodles of confidence and dances along with the cast like a pro. He is one of six playing the role during the tour.

Finally, the ensemble cast were fabulous. Not only did the men stir up the women in the audience with their impressive physiques, but the dancing was also on point.

The plot is somewhat thin and moves quickly and, at times, I was surprised that the leaps and bounds made in Rachel and Frank’s relationship had happened so rapidly. Meanwhile the unrequited love towards Frank from Nikki also felt odd as nothing had really happened between the pair on stage to warrant such strong feelings. On reflection, I decided this probably doesn’t matter so much for those who know the story already or who are die hard Whitney fans but for people attending with no background knowledge, the story probably feels somewhat lacking.

My main criticism was the final 5 minutes of staging where a montage of Rachel and Frank’s relationship was projected on to a curtain while, presumably, Alexander Burke changed into the dress for her final number. Perhaps it was an homage to the style of the 90’s or there was just no other way to allow her to get changed, but for me, it did take away from the emotion a touch.

All in all, The Bodyguard is a great musical. Alexander Burke oozes star quality, the songs are timeless, the men are ripped, the singing is spot on and the final curtain call just added an extra something to a fun night out.

Running until 25th May and is then on tour until February 2020.

Booking details can be found here

Tour details can be found here

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