THEATRE REVIEW: The Bodyguard

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Wow.

Just wow.

What else can you say about a performance that received a standing ovation from literally every single person in the theatre?

For the last week, 1992 smash-hit The Bodyguard has been in Nottingham. Featuring Alexandra Burke and many other hidden talented actors, the play was absolutely breathtaking. A mixture of romance, comedy, Whitney Houston’s biggest hits, and a modern taste of the 21st Century – there wasn’t a dry eye in the place by the time the performance was done.

2008 X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke gave a stunning performance as Rachel Marron, hitting every note perfectly and sometimes making it seem like the whole storyline was based on her life songs, and not those of Whitney Houston’s.

If you’ve never seen The Bodyguard, why not?

As it becomes apparent that she is being stalked by a psycho super-fan, Rachel Marron and her family hire Frank Farmer, a bodyguard she doesn’t want there. But, as all good romances go, he’s the one who she still ends up falling in love with, at the same time that her sister Nicki, is doing the exact same. With both sisters showcasing extreme talent, it soon becomes obvious that Nicki lives in Rachel’s shadow. A love triangle quickly develops between the three, with one of them meeting their death at the hands of the stalker.

As expected, the play is a little different to the film, but still absolutely brilliant.

With an explosive start, Burke’s vocals in the first song ‘Queen of the Night’ will undoubtedly give you goosebumps from the offset. The choreography of the dances worked so well with the loud, glittery and glamorous costumes, which continued to add pace and excitement throughout the show. I soon lost count of how many times (and how quickly!), they managed to get Burke in and out of outfits from sequinned dresses to her silk pyjamas!

The use of a split stage between Frank Farmer and an investigator he works with, added a sense of fear and mystery each time a new piece of information was discovered. With an excellently chilling performance from Mike Denman as the stalker, it felt like no matter what the scene was, he was always near (unknown to the knowledge of Marron and Farmer), subtly appearing in the background of many key parts of the play. His body language and facial expressions were just the right amount of creepy to set the atmosphere, and give you chills every time he appeared.

Played by Stuart Reid, the bodyguard Frank Farmer, was exactly as you’d imagine; Smart, smooth and extremely clean-cut. His chemistry with Alexandra Burke was palatable from the moment they met, and as the play developed and you saw just how much they grew to rely on each other, no doubt every romantic in that theatre were willing them to be together.

So it came as no surprise when the hit ‘I Will Always Love You’ was belted out at the end, making everyone cry. It was an absolutely stunning performance from Burke, who hit every note perfectly. A beautiful use of visuals from special moments in the play was used on the fire curtain as a montage of the couple’s ‘best bits,’ and made their love seem life-like. The huge round of applause Burke and Reid received as they came to take their bows were well deserved.

The whole cast came back on stage to end with a fun rendition of ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody,’ which got everybody of all ages up and dancing. If you ever get the chance to go and see this superb performance, then I would highly recommend doing so.

The Bodyguard is at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham until Saturday. For more information, visit: www.trch.co.uk/bodyguard.

By Emma Page