THEATRE SPOTLIGHT: THE BODYGUARD AT CURVE, LEICESTER
The Bodyguard, one of the most internationally acclaimed smash-hit movies turned into an award-winning stage production, is now playing for one week only at Curve Leicester. With tickets almost all gone, this is one show that is going to have the audience humming along to the songs originally performed by the one and only diva, described as ‘the voice of our time,’ Whitney Houston. This romantic thriller details the relationship of a superstar falling for a former Secret Service agent. Expect drama and an absolutely irresistible soundtrack.
Production Photography Courtesy: Paul Coltas (unless otherwise stated)
Disclosure: Be-lavie received a press invite to experience ‘The Bodyguard’. All opinions, and views are our own along with non-production photography and therefore remain a copyright of be-lavie. For further information, refer to our disclosure policy.
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The BodyGuard: A Little History
The Original movie, was released back in December 1992, making it 31 years old now and is famously known for the dramatically romantic affinity between Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston) and Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner). The movie generated a string of hits for Whitney including her version of ‘I Will Always Love You’, which incidentally topped the charts and remained at No 1 for a whopping 10 weeks.
Back in 2012, The Bodyguard The Musical made its inauguration in the West End in London partnering the Grammy nominated and winning soundtrack with a number of Whitney’s other classic hits from her career.
Now, The Bodyguard has returned to Leicester’s Curve theatre on its current UK tour.
The Bodyguard: Stage Performance
Just as in the movie, the plot sees gutsy, singing superstar, Rachel Marron facing threats from an unknown stalker. In fear for her and her families safety her team decide to provide protection by hiring a former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer.
The chemistry is pretty intense between the two dominant characters who each want to be in charge but Rachel finally succumbs to Franks expert advice after an incident at a club. It’s not long before we see the romantic attraction between the pair blossom into something a little more serious.
A large proportion of the shows advertising campaign, places emphasis on the role of Rachel Marron played by former Pussycat Doll, Melody Thornton, however on the opening night at Curve Leicester, she did not play the leading lady. Instead, Samantha Mbolekwa (West End credits includes, Dear Evan Hanson and Rent), played the ‘alternate Rachel’ role. Her stage presence oozed glitzy star-quality. Her vocals were incredibly touching at times representing the inner thoughts and feelings of her character wonderfully with true poignance.
The Bodyguard or Frank Farmer is played by Aiden Callaghan (credits, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks to name a couple). Callaghan played the role of protector and love interest charmingly. He added understated touches of humour timelessly and brought Frank’s character to life on stage. Just as in the movie, he portrays the glances of interest and affection with conviction.
Some moments are not always easily transitioned to the stage environment, however The Bodyguard managed to portray these on stage alternatively and created just the tension required. Particularly, in the suspenseful stalker scenes plated by Marios Nicolaides (former stage credits include, Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever).
The addition of the Karaoke bar scene was a great touch and balanced the severity of the stalker predicament with a more light-hearted angle.
The entire cast of The Bodyguard UK Tour is completely and utterly talented in their character representations, performances as well as vocal ability but Emily-Mae (theatre credits include, Bulda in Disney’s Frozen to name a few) who plays Rachel’s sister, Nicki is a vocal genius. The absolute superstar quality she brought playing Rachel’s overshadowed sister is particularly noteworthy Her vocals had the audience believing of her position in the family, leaving us completely wowed by her solo as well as duet vocals.
Another touching performance is delivered by Fletcher, Rachel’s son, the role of which is split between four young actors. The opening night at Curve, featured Iesa Miller. His portrayal of Fletcher is pretty outstanding and particularly enjoyable is watching the tender relationship he depicted between himself and Frank.
The stand-out evening performance is the final scene where the simple staging, costume and lighting complement and blend beautifully to Mbolekwa as Rachel singing ‘I Will Always Love You’. If you’re looking for a goosebump moment – this is it. Emotion and great control in her voice make this a show stopping moment with a resounding applause and cheering.
The BodyGuard: The Music
Whitney fans and lovers of The Bodyguard movie, will be entertained by a plethora of alluring classics to include, Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, Greatest Love Of All, Million Dollar Bill, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and one of the smash-hit songs of our time – I Will Always Love You.
This is an electrifying performance – prepare for notes that are higher than you’d ever have expected. The most emotional part of the show easily.
The Bodyguard: Production Staging
The staging is particularly classy with the stage framed with drapes for many of the scenes as well as the concert-like industrial backdrop. The Pyrotechnics during the iconic movie type performances are further enhanced with audience surprises like the projections, sequenced pyrotechnics and dance moves.
The Bodyguard Musical Round-Up
Whether you’re a fan of the movie or not, there is no denying that you will be stepping out of the theatre wanting to hum along or hurl out some of the classic tunes featured. It’s difficult not to! The end of the show feels like leaving a party that you just don’t want to stop singing and dancing at.
The Bodyguard truly is dramatic, dazzling and breathtaking to watch. Right from the jump-worthy gun shot opening scene to the concert-like sequences with pyrotechnics, impressive lighting, glittery costumes and choreography. This is one show you want to be a part of. Musical theatre at its finest.
Do not rush and leave before the finale of the show, where the audience finally get their moment to sing and dance along to ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’.
Whitney Houston, gave us the voice of our time. Limitless and with no boundaries. This show is every bit a reflection of her performance in the movie. It brings humour, drama and and an explicit love-story. The Bodyguard, go and see it if you get the chance.
The Bodyguard will be playing at Curve until Saturday 22 April 2023, see booking details to reserve one of the few remaining tickets. Following this the UK tour will head to Cardiff’s, Wales Millennium Centre.
- Location: The Curve. Alexandra House, 60 Rutland St, Leicester LE1 1SB
- Box Office: 0116 242 3595
- Box Office Email: email@example.com
- Website for Information & Bookings: Curve Theatre.
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