I don’t know what I did to deserve almost being set on fire but to see The Bodyguard‘s fully charged, pyrotechnic laden opening number thrown at the audience with such glorious force, it was totally worth it. And eyebrows grow back right…? RIGHT?!
Tim Hatley’s set design is full of ambition and vision, which sits perfectly well with the often melodramatic feel of the show. The clean, albeit clichéd vacancy of the mansion, and cool vastness of the dance studio contrast dreamily with scenes that are more of a spectacle or rich in emotional depth, such as Rachel Marron’s performance at the Oscars. The costumes unsurprisingly have most impact in the big dance and musical numbers, but unfortunately the tailoring – or lack of – for the male security team leaves much to be desired.
The Bodyguard is a luxurious banquet with perhaps not the most intelligent or deep thinking of guests but a group, nonetheless that are glamorous and always up for a good time. The storyline is, for the most part, shallow and certainly does nothing to conquer the ‘women need caring for’ stereotype. The relationship between Beverley Knight’s Marron and her sister Nicki (Rachel John) isn’t particularly original but suitably touching.
The production is insane with fierce choreography and a talented ensemble. The musical numbers, which include such favourites as ‘Queen of the Night’, ‘I Have Nothing’ and ‘I Will Always Love You’ are brilliantly realised and cause some audience members to forget they’re at the theatre and leap up with ecstatic glee.
Ben Richards’ Frank Farmer does a good job as Marron’s bodyguard/ love interest. The lighter, comedic sides of his character are touching, particularly during one of the show’s highlights in a karaoke bar.
John is as gorgeous as always as Marron’s sister, living in an unattainable shadow. Her voice is delicious and full of power and conviction, complimenting Knight’s sublimely.
There’s a reason Knight has returned to the role that made her a West-End star. Her acting isn’t consistently perfect, but a stage presence that is as electric as her vocals are perfect, she is the reason to see The Bodyguard.
A spectacle that boasts some seriously stinky cheese, this is carried along full speed, with no time for breath by some extraordinary visual treats. The vocal and dancing talents are exceptional and your hands are guaranteed to be blistered from clapping so much during the encore. Divine.
The Bodyguard is playing the Dominion theatre until Jan 7 2017. For more information and tickets, see The Bodyguard website.
Photo: Alessandro Pina