I’m not usually a fan of movie musicals. Expectations are high when one of your favourite films has been adapted for the theatre. Often, they don’t transfer well. And they just don’t stand up to musicals written specifically for the stage. However, there are some exceptions. The Bodyguard musical has turned the 1992 film into a sassy show of classic Whitney Houston hits, superb choreography and a moving story. Here’s my theatre review of The Bodyguard musical at Wolverhampton Grand, which runs from 25th June – 6th July 2019.
A romantic thriller
In case you haven’t seen the movie, starring the Whitney diva herself, the story revolves around Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer; he is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a host of irresistible classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the biggest hit songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.
The Bodyguard musical
Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. movie starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, The Bodyguard, directed by Thea Sharrock with book by Oscar winning (Birdman) Alex Dinelaris, had its world premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End in 2012 and was nominated for 4 Olivier Awards. A sell out 18 month UK and Ireland tour followed, before the show returned to the West End at the Dominion Theatre.
It has also played in the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, Canada, Italy, Australia, Madrid, France, and the US.
Queen of the Night
Jennlee Shallow is superb in the role of Rachel Marron. It’s no surprise as her many theatre credits include Nala in The Lion King in both Australia and Germany, Deena in Dreamgirls and Sarah in Ragtime. She’s best in the fast-moving hits, taking the stage with presence and sass.
However, I was equally taken with her sister, Nicki Marron, played by Micha Richardson. Her soulful voice is beautiful, and the relationship between the two sisters is movingly portrayed.
I can’t help but also mention Benoit Marechal who plays Frank Farmer with real charisma. I wouldn’t mind him being my Bodyguard…