Liz Coggins reviews the hit musical at The Alhambra
The eagerly awaited musical The Bodyguard fired up and literally exploded onto the Alhambra stage using just about every special effects technique in the book.
With very little substance in its shallow, inadequate plot and gaps in the storyline that leave many points unexplained it could easily have transcended into a damp squib.
But with the clever use of laser lights and pyrotechnics, imaginative staging, exciting choreography and above all its music The Bodyguard turned into a night to remember.
The story, taken from the 1992 film with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner involves a fictitious pop star being pursued by a dangerous stalker. Her management hire her a bodyguard, whom she dislikes at first, but the inevitable happens and she ends up falling in love with him.
Laden with Houston’s hits such as Greatest Love of All, Saving All My Love, I Will Always Love You and I’m Every Woman and some of the most exciting production numbers to grace the Alhambra’s stage, the music drives this show and gives what otherwise would be a laboured first half ,verve and vitality.
Alexandra Burke has truly cast off the XFactor mode and makes a powerful, believable Rachel Marron. As Frank Farmer, the bodyguard, Stuart Reid’s characterization is perfection – strong and steely one moment and sympathetic and caring the next,
As Nicki, Rachel’s sister Melissa James is outstanding in every way but especially in her vocals. Mike Denman as the stalker gives a superbly menacing performance but putting him in a hoodie holding a meat clever for the finale of Act 1 was a step too far and turned what should have been a dramatic moment into pure farce.
With an energetic, energy fuelled ensemble and some great cameo roles, not forgetting Jhayheim Davis as a wonderfully natural 10 yr-old Fletcher, this show certainly has a feel good factor.
Runs till 13th June