Prepare to be blown away as Alexandra Burke returns as Rachel Marron in the smash hit musical The Bodyguard playing at the Edinburgh Playhouse from 9 – 20 July 2019.
The Bodyguard is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian and is based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. movie starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. The soundtrack became the best-selling soundtrack of all time, selling more than 45 million copies worldwide. This romantic thriller, features a host of unforgettable classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and of course – I Will Always Love You.
Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer (Benoît Maréchal), reluctantly takes a job to protect spoilt superstar Rachel Marron from an obsessive stalker when he learns that she has a young boy who could also be a target. Only when Rachel comes face to face with the death threats does she start to cooperate. The story follows Rachel and Frank’s blossoming love whilst her sister Nicki (played by the wonderful Micha Richardson) simmers jealously in the shadows of her sibling.
Alexandra Burke is truly sensational in the role of Rachel Marron, so much so that in the opening scene, I do a double take, so alike she is to Whitney Houston yet with her own commanding stage presence. The tour follows her triumphant run in both the West End and the subsequent sell out 2015/2016 tour. Even Dionne Warwick (Houston’s cousin) has honoured Burke with her stamp of approval.
Burke first rose to fame after winning the fifth series of The X Factor and her debut number one single Hallelujah sold over one million copies in the UK, a first for a British female soloist. Most recently she appeared in Chess at the London Coliseum and Chicago at the West End’s Phoenix Theatre and in 2018 she reached the final of Strictly Come Dancing. Her other theatre credits include ‘Deloris Van Cartier’ in the national tour of the musical Sister Act which played at the Edinburgh Playhouse in 2017.
The audience are silenced in awe of Burke’s beautiful vocals and find Maréchal’s karaoke performance particularly amusing. Any appearance of the buff yet creepy stalker (played by Phil Atkinson) are met with giggles from the ladies in the audience. The talented young star who plays Fletcher shines with his young Michael Jackson-esque dance and vocal skills.
Kudos also go to the tour set designer, Tim Hatley for the diverse scenes and faultless set changes, as well as the fantastic house band. The closing cinematic screen shots seem a little out of place but when I remind myself that we are watching a theatrical remake of a movie, all is forgiven; and certainly forgotten once the sensational final song begins.
If it’s good enough for Dionne Warwick, trust me it’s good enough for you. Definitely a show not to be missed!
Please note Alexandra Burke will perform the role of Rachel Marron at all evening performances. At matinee performances the role will played by Jennlee Shallow whose stage credits include The Lion King (Hamburg; Sydney/Melbourne) and Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis (Las Vegas).