I went to see The Bodyguard on its final Saturday evening in the West End and I absolutely loved it. As instructed to do so by mum (you will know why if you have read previous reviews!), I watched the film and although I expected it to be brilliant I wasn't keen on the film at all and hence made me lower my expectations for the show which before seeing the film were very high. I am pleased to say the show totally exceeded my expectations and I really wish I had seen it sooner so I could have gone again.
The story is about a superstar Rachel Marron who is being stalked and much to her annoyance has a bodyguard brought in to protect her, Frank Farmer.
I was really excited to see Alexandra Burke playing Rachel as she has such a fantastic voice and I have always liked her since wanting her to win on the X Factor. As I expected her singing was absolutely flawless and I think the Whitney songs are perfect for her. My favourite songs from the show were One Moment in Time which has always been my favourite Whitney Houston song and the performance of I Will Always Love You was amazing. All of the songs were fantastic though with a good selection of up beat songs and some slower ones.
The way they adapted the film to stage was brilliant and the acting was fantastic by all the cast. I think Alexandra played Rachel brilliantly and made her a bit more of a diva but I liked that. The only issue I had was that I just couldn't imagine Alexandra playing a character as I have always seen her as herself on television and with all the Whitney songs that suited her so well I just couldn't see her as Rachel.
The beginning of the show was a bit of a shock with the sudden gun shot and lighting out without a warning but it was different to any other show I have seen and fit into the show well.
The dancing and costumes were brilliant and with the up beat songs it felt more like a party than watching a show which was fantastic. I loved the end song I Wanna Dance With Somebody and how everyone was standing, clapping and singing along with the cast and I think it left everyone leaving with a great feeling. I didn't want it to end!
I think this show is outstanding and I cannot believe that tonight is its last evening on the West End. I would have loved to have seen it again but no one could do it any better than Alexandra Burke. I am so glad I got to see it with her in it and I just wish I could rewind time back to Saturday so I could experience it all over again.
I really like keeping in touch with old friends, even if it is only amounts to once a year, so this Janaury when one of my old secondary school friends messaged me in a group on facebook that she was organising for us all to meet up and go to dinner I was really excited and enthusiastic! The debate was between The Bodyguard and Thriller Live (which i have already seen!) and fortunately in the end we all agreed on The Bodyguard. Being a bit terrible at organising all this stuff we all transferred her our monies and the burden was on her to pick a date and get us some really good seats!
- Theatre and Location -
The Bodyguard The Musical is playing at the Adelphi Theatre, The Strand, London WC2R 0NS. It's really easy to get to by bus/train/tube but as we are all Londoners and live not too far south of the river it was really simple for me to get to as numerous buses stop right outside. It's in a great location as it is about a 5 minute walk from London's busy Covent Garden station if you feel like some shopping before hand! We met for dinner 2 hours before the show started at Zizzi's which was literally across the road (seeing as it was a Saturday evening and we knew restaurants would be super busy, which they were they brought our food 20 minutes before we needed to leave so we had to wolf it down!) but there are also other places to grab a bite or a drink before/after the show.
The theatre is very extravagantly highlighted so theres no missing it, and inside there are the usual polite ushers who will show you to your seat. The theatre is one of the bigger theatres I have been to (most recently I have seen Phantom of the Opera and Dora! Live lol) but not so big that even sitting further back your view is restricted in any way.
- The Show -
Evidently this musical is based on the film of the same name with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costoner. Personally I hadn't even seen the film prior to watching the show at the Theatre and in hindsight although when it started I was completely confused as to what was going on I think this made me enjoy the show that much more! It carried out with the similar concept of the film - Heather Headley playing Rachel Marron a famous Diva singer who needs a bodyguard as she has a serious stalker after her and her management company are wary of her safety. Lloyd Owen plays Frank Farmer, the stony but serious Bodyguard who takes a shine to Rachel but things become complicated...
The reason I loved this was the complete blindness to the story as it played out in front of me. I didn't know what was going to happen in each scene or how the story would conclude and this kept me on the edge of my seat and I was annoyed at the interval as I just wanted to know what would happen next! The rest of my friends at the theatre with me however had all seen the film and although they agreed the play was fantastic they were a bit negative, because as per usual the play was not exactly the same scene by scene the same as the film and they made a lot of comparisons as elements were left out.
The cast in this play were fantastic and Heather Headley as the lead was particularly brilliant and did Whitney Houston's memory some serious justice. She has an excellent voice and I loved every moment of singing along, especially with the finale "I will always love you" and I almost had a tear in my eye! As a star in her own right (she is a grammy award winning singer) she sang every song and every note effortlessly and with all the big songs "I wanna dance with somebody" me and all my girlfriends couldn't help but sing a long and have a little boogy! Lloyd Owen is not an actor I am too familiar with, and one thing I would mention was his attempt at an american accent was a little bit annoying as it was blatantly fake, but this was not so bad to detract at all from the quality of the play.
The effects of the play weren't the best I'd ever seen (that crown goes to The Phantom Of The Opera) but the direction, props and scenery were still excellent and I was amazed at how much could be down and how creative the backgrounds and features could be on just one stage! The whole experience of this play was fantastic and I can't fault it at all. The running time was about just over 2 hours with a 15 minute interval. I thought this was a really good length, almost like watching a film but in real life and my interest didn't wain at all.
- Tickets and Prices -
As I mentioned my friend was left in charge of booking the tickets for us, and as some were on a budget we all agreed £35 was the maximum we would spend on tickets. Booking 2 months in advance, and for a more expensive Saturday night showing we got seats in the Dress Circle but these were still really low down (not the seats that are wayyyyy at the back) and I actually think the price we paid was a total bargain.
Tickets can be bought from the website (http://www.thebodyguardmusical.com/tickets/) or on seetickets and there are sometimes deals on which can always be kept an eye out.
- Overall -
I would definitely recommend this show if you want a night out in London and are keen to see something good. I think this show is one of the best I have seen and is suitable for everyone. I have been to the Theatre before and got a bit annoyed as although they are a "musical" sometimes there are just too many songs and it just grinds my gears whereas with this one the balance was perfect. The performances from all the cast were solid, if not outstanding from Heather Headley and by the end I guarantee you will want to get out of your seat and just have a little sing-a-long and dance to some Whitney Houston classics. To sum up, it was a fantastic night out, and I loved it so much I would actually go again!