The Hawth Crawley | until 5th December 2015.
The Bodyguard Review
Last year when I reviewed The Bodyguard in the West End, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the production based on the 1992 film starring the late and great Whitney Houston had enough theatrical merit to transfer to the stage. I even predicted that the production would do well on tour as it had wide audience appeal.
The touring production opened at the Hawth Crawley last week and plays until the 5th December, starring X Factor winner and three times Brit nominee Alexandra Burke reprising her West End role as Rachel Marron. Tickets have been selling like hot cakes and I was thrilled to see the Hawth bursting at the seams with excited theatre goers.
What I wasn’t prepared for was how much the show has improved since the London production. No corners have been cut with this top class touring production, in fact I would say that the performances, set, lighting techniques and overall sound have been much improved and enhanced, giving the enthusiastic Hawth audience a show they’ll remember for a very long time.
The story centres around singer Rachel Marron (Alexandra Burke) whose career is on the up and up. Unfortunately she has attracted the attention of a dangerous stalker who is prepared to stop at nothing to scare and harm her. Frank Farmer (Stuart Reid) a former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, is subsequently hired to protect not only her but her son as well. While Rachel tries to keep a sort of normality in her life, Frank needs to overturn her entire security system as the threat increases. As their working relationship intensifies Frank and Rachel find that they fall for one another.
Whitney Houston’s back catalogue is integral to the production so it does help if you are not averse to her music. However, although Alexandra Burke doesn’t emulate Houston at all, she encompasses the role of Rachel Marron tangibly and believably and she sings with much more character and personality. The songs just keep coming; I’m every woman, Greatest Love of All, Saving all my love and many more, but it is when you hear Burke sing ‘I will always love you’ you realise how much she has nailed the whole performance.
Stuart Reid plays the role of Frank Farmer very well, as first coming across haughty and aloof and ever the professional before slowly showing his human side. However the real pairing to watch is between Burke and Melissa James who plays her sister and co-songwriter Nicki, between them their vocal harmonising was out of this world.
Everything about this show oozes professionalism. The clever lighting design, sound, and perfect creative timing mean that the audience are on a high one minute caused by the dynamic and powerful song and dance numbers, switching to high tension the next as Mike Derman’s character ‘The Stalker’ appears sending chills down the spine. The whole production was a technical dream.
I heartily recommend this visually stunning, sensational production of the Bodyguard. It runs at the Hawth Crawley until 5th December, ticket sales are going extremely well so I would hurry you to snap up one of the few remaining tickets, you won’t be disappointed.
Reviewer: Sammi O’Neill.
☆☆☆☆ Highly Recommended.
The Bodyguard runs at the Hawth Crawley until the 5th December 2015.