I’m going to start this review with a confession. I have never seen The Bodyguard. Cue audible gasps and questions about where I have been for the last 20 years. When I got tickets to see the stage show at the Bristol Hippodrome I didn’t know whether to watch the film before going. That is always something I struggle with before going to see a show – do you watch the film/read the book first and so find out what happens? Or do you go along not knowing anything? I was glad that I decided against watching the film first, as I was kept in suspense throughout the show.
I knew the plot to the film – Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. But that was all. And when the show started with a gunshot I knew I was in for a thrilling night!
Alexandra Burke dazzles as the lead role of Rachel. I remember voting for her when she appeared on the X-Factor, but couldn’t believe that was in 2008! I wonder what was tougher for her – facing Simon Cowell or following in Whitney Houston’s footsteps?! Either way she excelled at both! Her rendition of the iconic song ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ had the audience tapping their feet and singing along, while ‘One Moment In Time’ was very tense, as it was performed as her stalker drew closer. However the showstopper was ‘I Will Always Love You’, which saw her on a raised stage in a stunning black gown.
The role of Frank was played by Stuart Reid, who was very entertaining. The karaoke bar was one of my favourite scenes in the whole show, when Frank attempts to sing. Singing is not something he is good at – and the way he stumbles through the song is hilarious. His portrayal of a standoffish bodyguard who falls for his client is spot on, and if ever I need protecting I want it to be by him!
I can’t finish without mentioning Melissa James, who played Rachel’s sister Niki. You really felt sorry for her, as the sister who is overshadowed by her famous sibling, despite having an amazing voice herself. The scene where she dies is heartbreaking.
I can’t recommend this show highly enough. I was singing the songs for days afterwards.
The Bodyguard runs until Saturday January 30. Don’t miss out!