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Queen of the night

Published January 26, 2020

The Bodyguard Musical

This week, I got to see The Bodyguard musical on the final stop of its UK tour. Based on the film of the same name, Alexandra Burke heads the cast with her phenomenal vocal powers bringing to life those infamous Whitney Houston classics.

She was joined by Ben Lewis in the role of Frank Farmer (portrayed by Kevin Costner in the movie). And therein lies the problem. I was forever comparing it to the movie, which is an absolute favourite of mine.

Problems:

  • Some seriously dodgy American accents
  • Little to no chemistry between the two leads which made it a bit pointless
  • The crucial “he’s my bodyguard!” line was totally drowned out

Highlights:

  • Great vocals from Alexandra, not many can do Whitney justice
  • The kid playing Rachel’s son was exceptional
  • I did like that scene in the karaoke bar, where they let loose and had fun

It was also quite enjoyable to hear the audience’s reaction to the bad guy. He didn’t say a lot during his time on stage, moodily walking around brandishing a knife. But he did a lot of that with his top off and sported a body that has seen significant amounts of training. So the crowd didn’t know whether to boo or cheer his impressive abs as he made his bow.

The musical has the potential to be good but I didn’t think the various elements in this production gelled together well enough to make it a classic for me. And the thing that annoyed me most of all was the other Whitney songs that were shoe-horned in to try and make it a Houston jukebox musical. I don’t think it was ever that, and so although I get the need to lighten the mood a bit, having everyone singalong to I Wanna Dance With Somebody as an encore wasn’t really my favourite moment.

But still, it does just make me want to watch the film again, and listen to the great soundtrack. So, if for no other reason than that, I was glad to see it.

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