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The Bodyguard - review

The Bodyguard reviewAlways a bit concerned when a film you love gets turned into a stage show musical. Will it work? Will you connect with the characters the way you did with the film? Will there be too much singing and not enough acting? Will the singers be able to act?

All these worries were ringing around my head when I took my seat to watch ‘The Bodyguard’ at Milton Keynes Theatre, based on the 1992 movie starring Kevin Costner and the late Whitney Houston. I really did love the movie, must have seen it over 20 times, so would this stage version live up to the hype?

It has a bankable star name, Alexandra Burke (X-Factor winner in 2008) plays the lead role of Rachel Marron but she is the only star name, so could the rest of the cast step up. They say how you start a show and how you end a show defines how you remember it, well the start definitely gets your heart pumping, but I won’t spoil it.

The singing and staged sections of show start almost immediately and Miss Burke is thrown right in at the deep end with a raunchy rendition of ‘Queen of the Night’ and she doesn’t disappoint. She has an incredible range and shows it off to full effect, and boy can she dance. The Frank Farmer role, effortlessly played by Mr Costner in the film, is taken by Stuart Reid and he’s very good. Just the right mix of broodiness, sexiness and a bit of humour for good measure. Nikki Marron, is played by Rachel John and again her voice is faultless and plays well against her co-star in some very good duets.

But does the story work on stage? Yes, it does! Okay, so they have to change some sections for it to work well; you can’t exactly blow up a motor boat on a lake in a theatre, but the basic thread of the story and key moments are definitely there. The production values are high, the sets and costumes look like they could have come straight from the movie but it is the singing that really stands out. The finale is predictable but it still gets the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up and the standing ovation at the end from the entire audience was well justified. And a quick note; stick around after the initial curtain calls, especially if you’ve got the urge to have a boogie.

Overall my worries were completely allayed. It took me right back to the early 90s, I came out wanting to drive to the nearest Blockbuster to rent The Bodyguard on video (you can still do that, right?) and watch it all over again which, let’s face it, can only be a very good thing.

The Bodyguard runs until Saturday 23rd Aril at Milton Keynes Theatre.

To book tickets visit: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-bodyguard/milton-keynes-theatre/