This is the first time that I have watched a movie-based musical without previously seeing the movie. I was aware of the main plot of the show and this stage production did not disappoint, by providing quality to the sets and staging.
The musical starts with a powerful, concert-style performance which quickly gets the audience to engage with the production – kicking off the show with an energetic bang.
The introduction of the son, Fletcher, (Archie Smith) was met with audience approval in the form of “oohs” and “aahs”.
Humour was presented in an appropriate way throughout the show, especially during the Karaoke singing which helped the audience feel more engaged, without the need of belting out big production songs all the time.
Set changes were slick and performed well using the front of the stage to direct the audience away from the secret magic that goes on behind the curtain.
The majority of the accents were performed well with a few spoken words reverting to their natural brogue – but this isn’t noticeable during the singing and the audience didn’t seem to mind.
Rachel Marron’s (Alexandra Burke) vocals have a soulful raspy quality for each rendition of the classic songs, while Nicki Marron (Micha Richardson) had a very clear and crisp vocal range which was a pleasure to listen to.
When singing the duet of ‘Run To You’, Rachel and Nicki both performed excellent harmonies and helped to add to the emotion of the scene.
Costumes for the male characters like many productions were smart and stylish and were in keeping with the roles of the cast. The dresses worn by the female characters were stunning and appropriately over-the-top for the glitzy scenes where they were required to sparkle, shine and shimmy.
Dancing was performed well by the whole cast and of particular note was the ballroom dancing scene where Alexandra Burke was able to build on her experience on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Visuals are introduced by the way of projections onto the stage curtains. The lighting was well presented throughout, ranging from dark and seedy for the stalker scenes to the disco lighting for the musical numbers. A particular highlight was the heart-shaped lighting that appeared at the conclusion of the ‘Greatest Love Of All’.
The sound during the big numbers was enhanced with the use of handheld microphones. Although the orchestra was hidden from view by the set design, the instruments were a character in their own right emanating around the auditorium.
All sixteen musical numbers were performed well by the cast taking into account the tone and mood within each scene to the crescendo of ‘I Will Always Love You’ as the grand finale.
It is a show that I would happily see again in the near future and would recommend to any fan of this genre of musical.
Review by Andrew Trotter
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. A romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a host of irresistible classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the biggest hit songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.
Alexandra Burke performs the role of Rachel Marron at all evening performances. At matinee performances, the role is played by Jennlee Shallow. Joining them for the Edinburgh run are Benoît Maréchal (Spiral) as Frank Farmer, Micha Richardson (Legally Blonde) as Nicki Marron, Peter Landi (This House) as Bill Devaney, Craig Berry (Mamma Mia!) as Tony, Gary Turner (Emmerdale) as Sy Spector, Phil Atkinson (Little Shop of Horrors) as The Stalker and Simon Cotton (Clockwork Orange) as Ray Court.
The Bodyguard is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian and is based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. movie starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. Directed by Thea Sharrock with book by Oscar-winning (Birdman) Alex Dinelaris,
Tuesday 9th July – Saturday 20th July 2019
Book Tickets for Edinburgh Playhouse