Review: The Bodyguard
Alexandra Burke certainly is Queen of the Night in the iconic Whitney Houston musical The Bodyguard, now on at the Bristol Hippodrome
This musical is a winner if you love Whitney. It’s a real treat to hear Alexandra Burke singing some of Houston’s most iconic songs: her voice is tremendously powerful, and her range, from the quiet emotion of “All the Man That I Need” to the gutsy heights of “I Have Nothing”, is truly special.
The Hippodrome is blessed with a wide, deep stage that really shows off its performers. The resident production team did a brilliant job of realising Tim Hatley’s stage design, which cleverly pays homage to the infamous film version by ending multiple scenes through the visible set becoming smaller and smaller, mimicking the lens of a camera.
The musical undoubtedly has its star in Burke’s character Rachel Marron, but the other characters get a pleasing amount of stage-time, displaying the beautiful voice of Micha Richardson playing Rachel’s sister, and the brilliant dancing of the supporting company.
The script, however, isn’t so sparkling and it’s difficult to suspend disbelief when both superstar Rachel Marron and her sister Nicki fall in love with bodyguard Frank Farmer after a couple of days at his job and a couple of mundane conversations. The assumption that he is the only one that can save her also feels slightly stilted.
But hey – maybe you don’t go to see The Bodyguard for a nuanced discussion of romance and risk in the 21st century. Maybe you go to hear your favourite songs realised in sparkling 3D; to be dazzled by the spectacle of live performance; and to be swept up in the emotion of it all. If that’s your motivation, then The Bodyguard will certainly deliver.
The Bodyguard is on at the Bristol Hippodrome from Thurs 28 March until Sat 6 April.
Bristol Hippodrome, St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol BS1 4UZ.
Words Alex Sayers. Photos Paul Coltas.