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Posts Tagged ‘Whitney Houston’

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This is the second time I have seen this show, which is based on the 1992 film of the same name starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. When I saw it in 2015 (review here) Zoe Birkett played the role of Rachel Marron; on this occasion Jennlee Shallow tackled the part and it’s safe to say she was an outstanding success.

A brief recap of the story for anyone who is not familiar – Rachel Marron is the world’s biggest singing star, but has become the target of a deranged and calculating stalker. Frank Farmer is the bodyguard hired to look after her, although neither Rachel doesn’t want him there, and Frank doesn’t want the job. They are initially disdainful of each other, but their relationship start to grow and Frank realises that his feelings for Rachel are getting in the way of his job.

The show literally opens with a bang – a gunshot rings out and you see two men caught in a standoff, before the spectacular opening number, Queen of the Night. The show plunges the audience right into Rachel’s world with this song – the fire, the costumes, the dancing, gets you into the mood immediately.

The musical numbers are of course the real attraction of the show – Shallow has a great voice and uses it to full effect; for me, the ballads are the more enjoyable songs. Run To You, All at Once, One Moment in Time and I Have Nothing, are all beautiful and brought a lump to my throat.

Frank was played by the gorgeous Benoit Marechal, who brought the perfect amount of gentlemanliness and reticence to the role – his karaoke rendition of I Will Always Love You, was a comedic highlight in a show packed with drama. Micha Richardson played Rachel’s sister Nikki, always eclipsed by her younger, famous sibling, and harbouring an unrequited desire for Frank. The stalker was played with menace by Phil Atkinson, and there are six young boys playing Rachel’s son Fletcher – on this occasion Caleb Williams took the role and stole the audience’s hearts.

Just a fantastic show which has drama, laughter, amazing singing and dancing – for me this will be one that I will see every time it comes around and I highly recommend it.

 

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The Bodyguard – the 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner – has been adapted into a stage musical and is currently touring the UK, with Alexandra Burke playing the central role of Rachel Marron, and Stuart Reid as Frank Farmer, the titular character.  Zoe Birkett plays Rachel in the matinee performances, and it was Zoe (shown above with Reid) who I saw in the production at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.

The story – trimmed somewhat from the film version – centres on world famous singer Marron, who is being stalked by a crazed fan.  She is reluctantly hires a bodyguard, and Farmer reluctantly takes the job.  Initially they don’t like each other – neither of them wants him there – but as they get to know each other, they start to fall in love.  However, the stalker is an ever present threat, and Frank finds his feelings getting in the way of his job.

The show is packed with musical numbers, most of which are from Whitney Houston’s catalogue of hits, and all of which went down a treat with the audience.  After the initial brief opening scene where a gunshot rings out in the theatre and the stage reveals a man holding a gun while another man is lies injured on the floor, the show really gets going with Rachel Marron performing an energetic, exciting and adrenaline pumping Queen of the Night.  Also wonderful were Melissa James, as Rachel’s sister Nicki, Mike Denman as the stalker, and of course, Stuart Reid as Frank Farmer.

Birkett is adorable as Marron, and wow! what an incredible voice.  She sang all the songs beautifully, ballads and pop numbers alike.  The song for which the show is most known – I will Always Love You – was an absolute triumph, and the actual finale – spoiler alert! – an energetic and truly uplifting version of I Wanna Dance With Somebody – had the whole audience on their feet, clapping along – rarely have I seen an audience enjoy something so completely.  The standing ovation was absolutely deserved and everyone left with a huge smile on their face .

Tickets for this amazing show are understandably going like the proverbial hot cakes, but if you get chance to see it, then go go go – you will be in for a truly wonderful time.

(For more information about this production, please click here.)

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