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The Bodyguard Musical - Refreshed! The Perfect Whitney Houston Jukebox Musical!

Based on the 1992 international hit movie of the same name starring Kevin Costner and the late great Whitney Houston, “The Bodyguard” is a musical film loved and applauded by all people the world over.

The stage adaptation makes several changes – the most notable one being the inclusion of Whitney songs that were not featured in the original film, resulting in the show being not just a stage adaptation of the film, but also a Whitney Houston jukebox musical…..I was in heaven!!

 

When playing Rachel Marron, you are not only playing an iconic character from a classic film but also reviving, and honouring, a legendary artist: the late and the great Whitney Houston. I laud anyone brave enough to take on such a role, irrespective of their success in it, but Emily Williams really did kill it in parts. She made the role her own and was not trying to be Whitney

 

The musical opened with a concert performance with fab costumes, top dancers, and fire! The costumes were definitely one of the highlights of the musical and the ensemble are all very talented. Alexandros Beshonges, in particular, stood out, not just because of his great dancing, but also his sheer enthusiasm. It really is excellent when an ensemble member catches the audience’s attention and is noticed throughout the piece.

 

The plot—with essential parts directly from the popular movie—finds international superstar and current Oscar-contender Rachel Marron (Williams) the target of an obsessive stalker played by the rather muscled Marios Nicolaides, hell-bent on causing her harm. Fearful for her safety, her manager Bill Devaney (John Macaulay) feels it is time to upgrade her security.  In comes former Secret Service agent-turned-private bodyguard Frank Farmer (played perfectly by Emmerdale / Hollyoaks hunk Ayden Callaghan) to the rescue. His new assignment is to overhaul Rachel's apparently shoddy security standards and, well, be the star's personal constant bodyguard. Rachel's sister Nicki (Emily-Mae) is glad for the change, especially since she's crushing on the hunky new guy. Rachel's super-friendly young son Fletcher (Show stealing Kaylen Luke) is also happy with the newest member of Mum's entourage, especially since Frank is not only the father figure he never knew he needed.

 

At first, of course, Rachel is annoyed and put out by Frank and all his changes to her life. But eventually, as cliché dictates, Frank wins Rachel over, progressing their relationship from a professional one to a personal one. In the midst of all of this, Rachel's schedule becomes quite hectic leading up to the Academy Awards, juggling press junkets, her own concert tour, and gala fundraisers, which, naturally, opens up the apparently easy-to-penetrate defences in her team and life.  I know that you all probably know what happens next if you have seen the film or musical as many times as I have but let us not spoil it for those that haven't eh?!

The moment we were all waiting for, though, was, of course, I Will Always Love You – and to see if Williams could do it justice….She did!  The show closed with I Wanna Dance with Somebody, and the audience not only got to their feet and clapped, but danced with each other. It was a fabulous end to a fun, feel-good musical.  If like me you have seen the musical before don’t let that put you off as the new refreshed version is even better than previous versions and well worth the watch!


The Bodyguard Musical runs at the Grand Opera House Belfast until Saturday 30th September, for further info and remaining tickets visit GOH.co.uk


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