The Bodyguard the Musical (Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review

Tuesday, 7 March 2023


The Bodyguard the Musical (Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre
★★★★ 

Literally opening with a bang, The Bodyguard the Musical takes you on an exciting and exhilarating journey of glorious music and a sweet romance, which will have you engaged throughout.

Based on the 1992 movie of the same name, the show tells the story of a Secret Service bodyguard hired to protect a world famous singer/actress from a threatening stalker. When released the movie became one of the highest grossing of all time and this stage adaptation includes all the memorable moments as well as retaining the original 90s vibes which so many love.

The leading role of Rachel Marron was made famous by Whitney Houston and is a huge role to fill. Taking the cup and stepping into the glitzy boots for this production is Melody Thornton of The Pussycat Dolls. Melody absolutely nails the role and provides some killer vocals throughout, really coming into her own and becoming the star in act two. Thornton performs the iconic songs incredibly well, keeping close enough to the originals that the audience are satisfied but also putting her own small twist on them. 

As her love interest and bodyguard Frank Farmer, Ayden Callaghan is an imposing but charming character, easily gaining empathy from the audience through his serious and stern but sensitive portrayal. The chemistry between the pair is pretty strong with some touching moments, especially when the drama really amps up. They're sure to become even more comfortable with each other throughout the tour!

A stand out performance comes from Emily-Mae as Rachel's sister, Nicki. Not only does she portray her unrequited love and upset at constantly being overshadowed extremely well. But her vocal moments are some of the most memorable in the show.

Reneo Kusi-Appauh is equally delightful as Rachel's son Fletcher, especially during act two and the bows when he shows off some killer vocals. Definitely a performer to keep an eye on!

The second act is where things really get going, including the audience getting to see more of the ensemble who are absolutely fantastic. They don't get a massive amount of stage time but when they do, they are outstanding; full of energy they really elevate the show.

The set and costume design by Tim Hatley fit the vibe of the musical well and for a touring production are very effective but at times the space does feel underused and there could certainly be some more wow factor added throughout.

The overly dramatic sound effects and scene transformations are very telenovela/soap opera-esque and the intense thriller aspect doesn't quite transfer, but mostly the show is effective and is a faithful screen to stage adaptation.

The story is well paced and you can't help but revel in the brilliance of Whitney Houston's music from start to finish. The Bodyguard is a well performed show that works well on tour. Run To You-r closest touring venue to see this sparkling production for yourself.

Reviewed on Monday 6th March 2023
photo credit: Paul Coltas

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