DramaMusicalReviewSouth West

The Bodyguard – Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol

Writer: Alexander Dinelaris
Director: Thea Sharrock
Reviewer: Laura Hesketh

 

Oozing glamour, glitz and West End magic, the touring production ofThe Bodyguard is a stellar and sassy showstopper bursting at the seams with Whitney Houston’s powerhouse ballads.

Based on the 1992 romantic thriller and the story of the superstar Rachel Marron (portrayed by Alexandra Burke) who hires the intransigent bodyguard Frank Farmer to protect her from a crazed stalker, the production is a hybrid between a musical and a spectacular pop concert, complete with glittering costumes, pyrotechnics and innovative video footage.

The chick flick’s plot was undeniably thin; however, this musical’s script has substance and, while littered with a few implausible moments, the show promises to be a classic. The iconic scene where Farmer rescues Marron from a club is both camp and cheesybut will leave many weak at the knees.

Audiences are allowed backstage access to the complicated world of the superstar and the stardom of Marron echoes Burke’s rise to fame.The epitome of ‘diva’ when belting out the iconic songs, Burke embraces the vocal gymnastics mastered by the late Houston and, with a little honing of her acting skills, the X Factor winner is sure to carve a reputable name for herself in the world of musicals.

Heart-throb Stuart Reid does an excellent job as the authoritative bodyguard haunted by a past from which he too needs to besaved. Melissa James, however, steals the show as Marron’s younger sister, Nikki, breaking hearts with her note-perfect rendition of Saving All My Love for You and a phenomenon duet with Burke.

Hilarious moments such as the drunken karaoke scene provide comic relief from the ever-increasingly dark story of the sinister stalker portrayed by the brilliant Mike Denman. The intensity is cranked up a notch in the second half as the threat edges closer and closer to the superstar and her family.

Tim Hatley’s shapeshifting set should also be commended and offers a slick new approach of staging spectacles such as The Bodyguard.

This production does not hold back, with big names, a big set and even bigger songs, The Bodyguard is a musical treat and the finale is One Moment In Time many will not forget.

Runs until30 January 2016 | Image: Paul Coltas

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