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HomeTheatreREVIEW: The Bodyguard at New Wimbledon Theatre ★★★

REVIEW: The Bodyguard at New Wimbledon Theatre ★★★

Based mostly on the hit 1992 movie starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, The Bodyguard musical premiered in 2012 on the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West Finish. An instantaneous success with audiences, the present went on to worldwide fame with seasons in Utrecht, Cologne, Seoul, Australia, a US, Japan and China Tour simply to call a couple of. Again on residence soil, the musical has seen a number of UK excursions and was final seen within the West Finish in 2017. This yr one other tour of The Bodyguard is making its approach across the UK and Eire and visits the New Wimbledon Theatre, bringing the acquainted story of pop star Rachel Marron and her Bodyguard again to London for one week solely.

Tailored by Alexander Dinelaris from the movie, The Bodyguard considerations former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, as he’s employed to guard celebrity Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Every expects to be in cost – what they don’t anticipate is to fall in love. Whereas the movie portrays each Frank and Rachel as fairly unlikable characters, Dinelaris’s musical places Rachel within the forefront moderately than the bodyguard and propels the present to current day whereas increasing characters, giving them extra emotional depth and fleshing out the story. The musical ingredient of the story options the film soundtrack together with One Second in Time, I’m Each Lady, Run To You, I Have Nothing and I Will At all times Love You and makes use of Houston’s again catalogue to incorporate favorites How Will I Know, Best Love Of All, Saving All My Love for You and I Wanna Dance With Any individual.

Main the forged for this new UK Tour is Grammy-nominated and former Pussycat Doll, Melody Thornton as Rachel Marron and Emmerdale and Hollyoaks star Ayden Callaghan as Frank Farmer. Becoming a member of them are Emily-Mae (Bulda in Disney’s Frozen, Angel Metropolis 4 in Metropolis of Angels, Paradice in Brooklyn the Musical, Ulla in The Producers) as Nicki Marron, John Macaulay (The Comedy of Errors, Deadly Attraction, August: Osage County) as Invoice Devaney, Graham Elwell (Of Mice and Males, Carlos in The Final Of The Obligation-free) as Tony, James Groom (‘Killer Joe” in Tracy Lett’s American Gothic play, Peter and Simon in Alexi Kaye Campbell’s Apologia, Bridgerton) as Sy Spector, Marios Nicolaides (Frank Jr and understudy Tony Manero in Saturday Night time Fever, Annie, Willie Lopez in Ghost) as Stalker and Fergal Coghlan (Sus, Cash Heist, The Mousetrap) as Ray Courtroom. As a supporting ensemble are Alexandros Beshonges, Kayne Gordon, Jack Hardwick, Kalisha Johnson, James Lee Harris, Samantha Mbolekwa, Abbie Quinnen, Kellie Rhianne, Charlotte Scally, Yiota Theo and Marco Venturini. The function of Rachel’s son Fletcher is shared by Kaylenn Aires Fonseca (Joseph, A Christmas Carol, Faculty Of Rock), Iesa Miller (Younger Craig in Tina the Musical, Chip within the UK tour of Disney’s Magnificence and the Beast), Frankie Keita (Mild of Passage, Anne of Inexperienced Gables) and Reneo Kusi-Appauh in his skilled debut.

As our Queen Of The Night time, Melody Thornton as Rachel Marron makes the half her personal bringing her pop vocal to Whitney’s iconic songs. Whereas Thornton offers a reliable efficiency as Rachel, it’s arduous to not examine her vocally to Whitney Houston particularly in a theatrical local weather the place we’ve got some very sturdy juke field musical performances. Whereas Alexander Dinelaris’s e book for the musical fleshes out Rachel’s character with extra coronary heart than the movie, Thornton’s efficiency lacked emotional nuance and in consequence the chemistry between her and Ayden Callaghan’s Frank appeared considerably labored. Regardless of this, Ayden Callaghan gave a strong efficiency as our Bodyguard Frank Farmer. Callaghan’s capability to indicate power and vulnerability concurrently makes his Farmer identifiable and charming as he brings the viewers on facet instantly. With a strong vocal efficiency, assured character work and nuanced emotional depth Emily-Mae as Rachel’s sister Nicki Marron was the stand out efficiency of the night. Emily-Mae’s renditions of Saving All My Love for You and All At As soon as have been completely stunning and she or he gave an impressive efficiency all through.

Whereas all parts of this manufacturing got here collectively sufficiently, I felt it was all considerably dated. Sluggish transitions and fixed scene modifications behind a principal curtain plagued the set design, whereas the costumes gave little wow issue and appeared in a continuing battle with the trendy day setting. Whereas video projections to cover scene modifications added curiosity to the set, we have already got the movie the musical is predicated on. The addition of video projections to elucidate plot in a stay motion musical based mostly on a movie, appeared complicated and misplaced. In recent times, audiences have been handled to many excessive normal touring productions and whereas pleasurable, I really feel this manufacturing of The Bodyguard may benefit from an total replace.

Within the put up pandemic local weather the place audiences are having fun with traditional excursions like Soiled Dancing, Grease and Rock of Ages, The Bodyguard works properly providing a well known story and that includes among the best hits of all time. So seize your One Second In Time and get tickets now to catch The Bodyguard on the New Wimbledon Theatre for a no brainer enjoyable night time out.

Reviewed by Stuart James



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