Manchester has long awaited Alexandra Burke’s return to her role of soul superstar Rachel Marron. Her faultless rendition of so many beautiful melodies in this concert of a show, has the audience entranced from the opening to the show-stopping last, with no fewer than 13 songs and 25 costumes changes, Burke’s voice and standard of her performance never falters for a moment.
The story revolves around superstar Marron and the former secret agent turned formidable bodyguard, known as the best in the business, Frank Farmer (Ben Lewis – Company, the Phantom of The Opera, Annie Get Your Gun) whom she reluctantly hires to protect her from an unknown stalker.
It’s not long until their two worlds collide, and Frank Farmer is willing to die for the woman he is paid to protect. Life is seldom uncomplicated and in this breath-taking romantic thriller we also have a love triangle, as Rachel and her sister, Nikki Marron (Emmy Willow-Bodyguard International Tour-Irving Berlin Songbook) both fall in love with Frank.
The stalker, (Gary Turner- Carlos Diaz in Emmerdale, Nathan Blake – Hollyoaks), leaves us with a shudder every time he appears, and we see him not only in the flesh but on huge projection screens, which show us haunting videos of the stalker. The lighting design is extremely effective in changing the mood and helps create not only the darker scenes but the most poignant romantic ones too.
The foundation of The Bodyguard musical is Lawrence Kasdan’s original screen play, which unbelievably was turned down by studios 67 times, before going on to be a box office smash with Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, spurning the theatrical production which has been running for 20 years.
While the show is about love found and lost, it is also a show about family and the relationship between, Rachel and her son Fletcher, (played by six actors over the run) which is an extremely close bond. When our diva suspects her son may have been kidnapped, she becomes totally reliant on Frank’s protection, is Frank up to the task? We must wait a little longer to find out.
Burke continues to dazzle us with her vocal ability and range as she belts out the classics effortlessly and we relish each one. There are a whole host of irresistible masterpieces for our delight, including One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, Greatest Love Of All, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, All At Once .
The ensemble of extremely talented dancers are a joy to watch and just when we hold our breath in anticipation of ‘that song’… it happens… a platform lifts Alexandra Burke into the audience and there she is, singing one of the greatest hit songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.
A standing ovation develops even before the last notes leave her lips, but it’s not over for us yet, in no time at all, just as the cast are taking their final bows, we are treated to a medley of music and everyone is up on their feet or rocking in their seat, as we have an opportunity to sing and dance, just a little, with Alexandra Burke.★ ★ ★ ★ ★