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  • Review by john Murray

Sensational musical treat

Well you quite possibly have heard of the movie of the Bodyguard? Maybe even the Whitney Houston soundtrack songs? Theatre fans too will know of the touring stage show which did the rounds some years ago? Well nothing can prepare you for this new touring production starring Alexandra Burke – it is sensational.

Nothing can prepare you for the opening number from the word go the theatre explodes into song with fire, lights from everywhere, sparkling dancers and Alexandra belting out the disco hit in an atmosphere more akin to a stadium rather than our ‘up close’ packed theatre. What a start and the pace and sets constantly move more than anything seen previously on a British stage.

If you are unfamiliar with the story Ms. Burke takes the role made famous by Whitney Houston in the 1992 movie Rachel Marron who is a single mom to young Fletcher while being a Grammy winning superstar. After a stalker threatens her by getting into the dressing room, she hires former secret service agent Frank Farmer as extra security. Her sister Nicki is also a singer but only in karaoke bars so a bit of sibling envy exists. Of course, Nicki too is a formidable singer as played by Micha Richardson. Frank (Benoit Marechal) naturally falls for Rachel within this cat & mouse game with Phil Atkinson as the Stalker and a body to die for. The twists and encounters mean plenty song opportunities, most of which we know like I’m Every Woman, So Emotional and How Will I Know.

Along the way we get show stoppers like One Moment In Time and of course a momentous I Will Always Love You which brought cheers and an ovation for Alexandra’s performance on the night. Following the curtain calls, one more costume change for our star as she returns for an encore of I Wanna Dance With Somebody, shared with the ensemble and a timeless soundtrack song turning the old Playhouse to the nightclub you always dreamed about.

This new production is directed by Thea Sharrock with every effect in the book, lighting that will leave you breathless and unlike anything seen before.

Edinburgh Playhouse till July 20

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