MusicalNorth WestReview

The Bodyguard – Liverpool Empire

Book: Alexander Dinelaris

Director: Thea Sharrock

Reviewer: Helen Patrick

Based on the 90s movie starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, The Bodyguard musical stays truthful to the hit film, while paying homage to the late Houston by incorporating some of the legendary pop artist’s biggest hits into the show including; Queen of the Night, I Have Nothing, Run to You and of course I Will Always Love You.

When Rachel Marron (Alexander Burke) a pop singer starts receiving threatening notes, her manager hires former Secret Service officer Frank Farmer (Stuart Reid) as her personal bodyguard. As time goes by the pair start a relationship and the threat to Marron’s safety becomes even more of a concern. Love, trust and mystery lies at the heart of this feel-good musical.

In the lead role of Rachel Marron, former X-Factor contestant Burke appears struggle with her American accent but also her vocal range at times seems to lack punch and vigour, however her rendition of I Will Always Love You, is a delight and boy can she move… doing the two together though proves a little more taxing.

Reid oozes charm as Marron’s protector, his portrayal strong and sturdy and it’s easy to see why someone would fall head over heels for him. Likewise, Rachel John gives a show stealing performance as Rachel’s Sister Nicki, her vocals far outshining leading lady Burke.

Thea Sharrock directs the piece with plenty of pace and a lot of tension, from the powerful opening number to the final encore, this is a show that carries a lot of energy and non more so than from the energetic and tight dancing ensemble who execute Karen Bruce’s sensational choreography with aplomb.

One touching and poignant scene of Rachel simply playing the piano and singing along, while Farmer looks after her son, really pulls at the heart-strings, as we the audience understand what is truly at stake.

Mark Henderson’s lighting design proves to be one of the designers strongest in recent years from the elegance and subtlety of Marron’s home to the bright lights of her pop concerts this is a design that showcases real talent.

You never know what is round the corner and what life will throw at you, so don’t miss your chance to catch enjoyable production that really deserves your attention.

Runs until 7 May, 2016 | Image: Paul Coltas

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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