The Bodyguard - The Musical
added: 22 Oct 2013
// gig date: 16 Oct 2013
reviewer: Simon Chan
16th October 2013 was media night for The Bodyguard, The Musical in London’s West End. A night where the British media and fellow celebrities would witness a new cast headlining this famous theatre show.
The original film ‘The Bodyguard’ first came to prominence and hit our cinema screens in a big way in 1992. The American romantic thriller film starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston was a massive hit, making $411 million at the box office worldwide and the album for the film became the best-selling soundtrack of all time, selling 45 million copies on the global stage.
The Bodyguard has now returned. This widely acclaimed film has been adapted into a popular West End musical in London. Staged at the Adelphi Theatre on The Strand, the show has managed to continue the legacy that is 'The Bodyguard', and bring to life both the storyline and the accompanying hit songs through an excellent theatrical performance. The show has replicated the gripping story-line of singer Rachel Marron, an Oscar global superstar who is being stalked and threatened by alarming death threats. In turn the character of Frank Farmer, a special agent and bodyguard is sent to protect her and they fall in love with each other.
Since September 2013, legendary British soul singer Beverley Knight has stepped into the shoes of Rachel Marron and become the new Queen of the Night for this musical. Accompanied by Tristan Gemmill (former star of Casualty) who plays Farmer, the show has been complemented through Knight’s powerful soul vocal abilities. Indeed, starting the show with Queen of the Night, it was immediately apparent why Knight was chosen to play this role. Taking the audience through a journey of some of the most well-known love hits in history, including I have Nothing, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, I will Always Love You and Run to You, the audience were treated to Beverley Knight at her very best, with precise control and tone in her delivery of these songs.
But it wasn’t all about Knight. All of the characters and dancers performed incredibly well and brought the show to life. Most notably Gemmill, in his stern bodyguard protective role was both real and credible. Michael Matias who played the character of Fletcher (Marron’s son) must also be mentioned for his acting. Furthermore, British actress Debbie Kurup (playing Nicki Marron – Rachel’s jealous sibling) gave an equally good account of herself in the vocal and acting department.
From a scripting perspective, many of the lines from the original film still remain, albeit somewhat shortened for this West End performance. Notably, the show was delivered through American accents and there were some additional new tweaks to the script, giving it at times a more humorous feel to the fellow original. Indeed the show has a concoction of everything– drama, love, action, suspense.
In a pre-opening show interview, Knight expressed her concerns for being able to deliver and portray the role of a true diva. Any doubts can suitably be quashed as her performance was on par and she must be praised for her efforts. Ending the night with the numbers I Will Always Love You and I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Knight was greeted to a standing ovation.
Any theatre goers and fans who come to watch this show are in for a real treat. Thanks to the whole cast and Beverley Knight herself... Queen of the Night.
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