Book: Alexander Dinelaris
Director: Thea Sharrock
The Bodyguard takes the 1992 box office hit movie starring the late and sadly missed Whitney Houston (in her movie debut) and sets it as a stage musical.
Rachel Marron is an academy award-nominated actress and global music superstar with the world at her feet. The only fly in the ointment is a stalker sending death threats. Her manager seeks out help in the form of Frank Farmer, former Secret Service agent, now professional bodyguard.
Franks sees Rachel as an attention seeking diva oblivious to her plight. As it ever was, this animosity turn to love and Rachel and Frank fall in love, but peril is ever-present.
Unfairly mired in controversy due to some horrendous audience behaviour in Manchester, I’m glad to report that the packed Glasgow auditorium are on their best behaviour. No doubt helped by the pre-curtain announcements about noise and singing along.
The show literally starts with a bang and is a much more lavish production than previous tours. It looks and sounds spectacular. The lighting is rich and enhanced by pyro effects and a raft of backing dancers. The live orchestra are in fine form under the baton of Sam Hall.
Australian performer Emily Williams takes on the iconic role of Rachel and is fine voiced, if a little stiff in the dance and acting departments, the titular bodyguard is competently played by Emmerdale and Hollyoaks’ Ayden Callaghan. Both central performers suffer from the ultra cheesy and at times boring narrative interludes. While necessary to provide a storyline, you can’t help feel that the audience is just willing the time away until the next song.
The overwhelming thought while watching the show is what a back catalogue Whitney Houston had and what a loss. The songs are shoe-horned into the story and play more like individual set-pieces rather than an essential enhancement to the action but they provide the highlights throughout.
That said, this is a highly entertaining show with a fine cast of talented individuals and provides a bit of escapist glitz and glamour to the wintry scenes outside the theatre doors. Well worth watching.
Runs until 7 January 2024 | Image: Paul Coltas