Alexandra Burke was born to play Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard The Musical. Fact. The former X Factor winner proves hands down she is the Queen of the Night as she takes to the stage at Manchester’s Opera House as part of the UK of the hit movie turned musical.
Burke has already played the coveted role in the West End taking over from Beverley Knight for a three-month stint. Now back and on the road she dazzles as she plays the diva to a tee and belts out Whitney classics with ease (which is no mean feat).
Her leading man for the run is Stuart Reid who is great as ‘bodyguard’ Frank Farmer. There’s a definite chemistry between the pair and two passionate onstage kisses that make you feel a little hot under the collar.
Whether you are a fan or not of the 1992 film starting Coster and Houston, you can’t fail to be impressed with this super-slick production that brings The Bodyguard to life. There’s some fabulous choreography on display courtesy of Karen Bruce and a supporting cast of buff blokes and girls that look like they’ve just stepped out of a pop video. The set is also a spectacle as it changes from scene to scene from Marron’s mansion to underground nightclub and homely cabin in the woods.
The star isn’t just Burke though – it is the music with undeniably great Whitney tracks from start to finish-proving a fitting tribute to the ill-fated star. With numbers like ‘Saving All My Love’, One Moment in Time ‘and Million Dollar Bill’ added onto the soundtrack classics ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘I Have Nothing’.
It is very rare that lighting gets a nod in theatre reviews but it definitely deserves a mention here. Stuart Cross’s lighting design is extremely effective in changing the mood of the piece and helps create the darker scenes involving The Stalker –played by a menacing Mike Denman.
Director Thea Sharrock has delivered a great production here, which in my opinion is far superior to other shows that have gone from screen to stage.
Runs at the Palace Theatre until January 9th 2016.