We all know the classic film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, with its unforgettable songs and cheesy romantic moments. ‘The Bodyguard’ was first released in 1992 and was an immediate success. The soundtrack became the best-selling soundtrack of all time – selling more than 45 million copies worldwide.
Now, the well-loved film is an international smash-hit musical and is coming to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre next month. The stage version stars ‘The X Factor’ 2008 winner, Alexandra Burke, as Rachel Marron and Benoit Marechal as Frank Farmer.
The play tells the tale of former secret service agent, Frank Farmer, who is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron and her son, Fletcher, from an unknown, threatening stalker. At first, a power battle ensues between Marron and Farmer, but they soon fall in love – and that’s where the real fun begins.
Alexandra Burke is astonishing – she makes belting out Whitney tunes night after night look easy. In the role of Rachel Marron, she finds a way to strike the perfect balance and vulnerability between “concerned mother” and “powerful superstar.” Her stage presence is magnetic as she skilfully switches between the terrifying, emotional and romantic moments within the story.
Marechal gives a great performance as the strong, calm Frank Farmer. At the same time, his wooden karaoke rendition of ‘I Will Always Love You’ will have you in stitches, while his warm relationship with Fletcher will make you melt. He played the role of a singer in the musical ‘L’amant d’in jour’ (‘Love for a Day’) so it's a shame to not hear him singing properly in this production – it is a musical after all.
Rachel’s sister, Nicki (played by Micha Richardson) is a great actress with a magnificent voice. Rachel’s son Fletcher (played by Archie Smith) brings a huge amount of energy to the stage. The mother-son relationship he shares with Rachel is touching, and there were plenty of “aww’s” from the audience when they sang and danced together.
While the show had tense moments thanks to Phil Atkinson's antagonist, it was difficult to be scared of a stalker who was topless with rock hard abs (and possibly oiled up). Every time he came on stage, there were whistles and catcalls from the audience that ruined the scary vibes. Perhaps if they had made him a little less sexy and a little scarier – and put a shirt on him – it would have been easier to get drawn into the storyline.
Overall, Alexandra Burke’s performance is reason enough to go along. A little cheesy at times and difficult to be scared of a villain with oiled up abs, it is still definitely worth the watch – especially if you’re a Whitney fan or you’re looking for a great girls’ night out.
‘The Bodyguard’ is coming to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from the 7th to the 17th of August. Tickets from €21 are available at www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie.