Reviewed by Nicola Wilkinson
As a fan of Whitney Houston songs, I jumped at the chance to review The Bodyguard. I haven’t seen the film before, but I absolutely loved this stage production so I now intend to watch it to see how they compare.
The Plymouth Theatre Royal is within the town centre. There is plenty of parking near the theatre and if parking in the multi storey behind the theatre you are able to prepay for your parking ticket within the theatre to save queueing at the end.
The theatre itself is on three levels, some seats do have restricted views but these are clearly shown when booking. The theatre is friendly with a number of bars you can pre order interval drinks and a restaurant to enjoy before the show.
The show started with two gun shots that certainly grabbed the audience’s attention with lots of giggles, it made everyone jump, but from then on the whole theatre were gripped.
The story is based on the 1992 film, this musical is a must see on everyone’s list. Starring Alexandra Burke as superstar Rachel Marron and former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard Frank Farmer, played by Simon Cotton, you watch their relationship develop after he is hired to protect her and her son, Fletcher, after a series of threatening letters are sent to her from a deranged fan/stalker.
The show contains many fantastic scenes of Rachel rehearsing as she prepares for her big night at the Oscars leaving sister Nicki, played by Micha Richardson, in the background being a lounge singer and assistant to her sister.
Nicki’s obvious feelings for Frank and her jealousy towards her sister is really good to see develop over the show. Micha Richardson’s voice was amazing and lovely to listen to.
Alexandra Burke was just amazing, she carried out her role to perfection, smashing all the big songs with what looked like ease, but I’m sure it wasn’t as easy as she made it look. It must have been hard to take on a part originally played by Whitney Houston, but she showed us she was more than capable and able to belt out Whitney hits. Her voice is amazing and her final performance of ‘I Will Always Love You’ gave me goosebumps.
Simon Cotton’s portrayal of Frank Farmer started off quite serious and almost quite cold towards Rachel as he set out to do his job to protect both Rachel and her son Fletcher, he really showed how feelings can change towards people and it was lovely to see the relationship develop between him, Rachel and her son as the show went on.
The scenery was amazing as it was forever changing from a very basic bedroom to a stage in a club. The costumes were amazing too, from casual wear to long evening gowns. Alexandra certainly had some quick changes!
All the other cast members were well cast for the production and played their parts so well, especially the dancers as they were all so strong and well-rehearsed.
A quick shout out to Archie Smith who played Rachel’s son Fletcher in last night’s production, what a little star in the making.
From curtain up to the finale, this show had me smiling and tapping my foot, the whole of the theatre where on their feet at the end clapping and dancing to I Wanna Dance with Somebody, the atmosphere was fantastic.
It was a shame there were a couple of people who thought it was appropriate to shout out at inappropriate times but the cast did fantastic to ignore them, especially Alexandra when she was singing ‘I will always love you’ at the time, this showed the cast professionalism – well done to all of them.
If you are a Whitney Houston fan then this is definitely a show for you. But even if you’re not I’d still highly recommend an exciting evening out to watch this.
Tickets cost from £22 to £52.50 (booking fees may apply).
The Bodyguard is at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth from 21-31 August 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.theatreroyal.com or call the box office on 01752 267222.
Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR | 01752 267222