Twenty-three years after the film, X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke is starring in the Bodyguard Musical at the Wales Millennium Centre. That is enough to sell tickets let alone the fact that the show is, of course, packed with Whitney Houston hits.
Alexandra plays Rachel Marron, a singer with a dangerous stalker who finds herself in need of a protection. Stuart Reid co-stars as her bodyguard, the strong, silent type who captures her heart. I am told that role was played by Kevin Costner in the film.
Like Whitney Houston before her, Alexandra Burke is an award-winning singer playing an award-winning singer. Alexandra Burke is still one of the best known X-factor winners. As such she brings the necessary star quality to the role, belting out a string of Whitney’s best-known songs. Just as importantly, well maybe, she can act too.
Melissa James delighted the audience as Nicki Marron, the sister who lives in Rachel’s shadow. Melissa is a real talent with a strong clear voice and plenty of charisma.
The show contains just the right amount of menace. Right from the off, the sound of gunshot grabs the audience’s attention. Later on when the stalker (Mike Denman) turns his pistol on the audience, it sends a chill through the theatre.
You don’t go to musicals for the plots, you go for the music and you will enjoy this show on that level alone. So Alexandra Burke singing Whitney’s back catalogue would have been worth the ticket price alone. Nonetheless the storyline is simple but strong enough to hold your interest. The production is of West End calibre. Set changes happen without being noticed.
Shock horror, but I didn’t see the film so I can’t compare it. I can say that the sell-out audience loved this show and I doubt if I was the only person there who wasn’t a hard-core fan of the film.
You will not be surprised to learn the night ended with ‘I will always love you’ and a standing ovation. That song was number one for a record ten weeks following the release of the film. I bet I wasn’t the only person who went home and listened again to some of Whitney’s hits.
Wales Millennium Centre until June 27
- We have a pair of tickets for a performance of Oklahoma, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Barnum at Wales Millennium Centre, subject to availability, for £40 each pair. The money pays for reviewers to cover shows across Wales. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to buy them.
- Pair of top price tickets for Oklahoma! at Wales Millennium Centre, July 7 to July 15. £25
- Pair of top price tickets for Barnum at Wales Millennium Centre, Tue 11 Aug 11 to August 15. £25
- Pair of top price tickets for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Wales Millennium Centre, August 18 – Sat 22 August. £25