The Bodyguard

"A pitch perfect performance from Emily Williams that makes her a worthy ‘Queen of the Night!'”

"The Bodyguard" musical takes centre stage, weaving a tapestry of suspense, romance, and unyielding resilience. Set against a backdrop of glitz and glamour, the story unfolds as Rachel Marron, a global superstar with a voice that captivates millions, finds herself ensnared in a web of peril. When a mysterious stalker threatens her very existence, the need for protection becomes paramount. Enter Frank Farmer, a seasoned bodyguard, whose steadfast commitment to duty clashes with the headstrong diva. As the melodies of Whitney Houston's iconic hits echo through the theatre, "The Bodyguard" becomes a thrilling dance between danger and desire, love and sacrifice, leaving audiences on the edge of their seats, immersed in a world where every note is a step towards survival.

As we take our seats in the auditorium and a gun shot has us jumping out of our seats, the Whitney Houston back catalogue bursts onto the stage with a high energy rendition of ‘Queen of the Night’.  Our leading lady is Emily Williams, no stranger to the role of Rachel Marron having played this part as an alternate in the 2017 Australian production of this iconic musical.  Williams is absolutely pitch perfect and takes on every classic tune in her stride, and with an air of confidence she is convincing as the megastar Marron. 

The Bodyguard sent to save Rachel from a sinister stalker is Frank Farmer, played by Ayden Callaghan.  He plays the role extremely seriously and his performance does feel slightly one dimensional at times, however there was great chemistry between the pair on stage as they fall in love.

There are many stand-out musical moments throughout this show, including ‘All the Man That I Need’, ‘One Moment In Time’ and in particular ‘Saving All My Love For You’ which is performed by Emily-Mae as Nicki Marron, Rachel’s sister, who has a yearning to become as idolised as her sibling leading to jealousy, as both women fall for the same man.    Emily-Mae is a shining star, with an incredible ability to use emotion throughout her vocal performances.

The talented ensemble cast were able to deliver some high energy slick choreography by Karen Bruce as they acted as the backing dancers for the pop princess.  The costuming by Tim Hatley was full of sequins and glitz during the ‘Diva’ moments and the set, also by Hatley, was able to transport us to different locations throughout the story, also using large LED projections to intensify the more dramatic moments.  Some of the scene changes seemed to take a little longer than necessary, but nevertheless the action on stage remained fluid.  The lighting by Mark Henderson emphasised the many dramatic moments scattered throughout and with the use of spotlights during Marron’s moments in front of her adoring fans, the scene setting was spot on.

This musical is every inch the classic jukebox musical with many familiar songs that can move us emotionally and also have us dancing in our seats.  Obviously, the moment we are all waiting for comes at the end of the show and Williams was able to captivate the whole audience for 'I Will Always Love You' cementing the fact that saving the best until last really does work perfectly here. For a fantastic night out, with just enough drama to satisfy and a soundtrack of dreams, The Bodyguard is definitely a ‘Million Dollar Show’!.

This show was reviewed on the 4th December 2023.  The Bodyguard runs at The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham until the 7th January 2024.  Tickets available here: The Bodyguard Tickets | Musicals Tours & Dates | ATG Tickets

Full tour details here: The Bodyguard Musical UK Tour

Review written by Emma Rowley

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