The Bodyguard the musical, based on the smash hit film which starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, opened at the Adelphi theatre in London’s West End on the 5th December 2012 to a rapturous reception.
The show in London stars Heather Headley as Rachel Marron and Lloyd Owen as Bodyguard, Frank Farmer.
Heather Headley and Lloyd Owen
So yet another famous film makes it to the West End Stage and so with trepidation and some excitement I went to the Opening Night thinking how on earth will they ever be able to replicate such a classic movie? Will it be like Dirty Dancing or Grease which attracted such a stalwart fan-based audience ?
Despite my concerns, the show is delightful and follows closely the original film albeit reworked to bring in line with current times. The chemistry between the cast is amazing and the choreography first class.
The sexy Kevin Costner, Frank Farmer, Bodyguard role is played brilliantly by the laconic Lloyd Owen. His stage presence is perfect as the ex-secret service agent hired to protect Rachel Marron, singer-songwriter-turned- actress and Oscar nominee. There is a brilliant scene where he takes Rachel, incognito, to a Karaoke bar on their first date and give his off-key rendition of ” I Will Always love You”
Rcahel Marron is played by the American Heather Headley, Broadway star of the Lion King, who has the most amazing theatrical presence. The protection, warmth and love she displays to her son, Fletcher, and Frank is so believable. She is a stellar presence, with a brilliant voice and looks stunning in an array of great costumes, especially a wonderful gold dress at the Oscar’s event . She is a true theatre star rather than a pop diva, simply sensational!
Debbie Kurup plays her sister, Nicki, who also has a yearning for Frank and the role is beefed up for the stage show. The song, “Run to You” , becomes a split-stage duo between the sisters and she matches Heather Headley vocal skills totally.
The show was years in the making before Whitney’s untimely death so it cannot be accused of cashing in on the tragedy. It is performed with a great cast who really seem to enjoy the show which is fantastic to see. The finale is uplifting and fun when Heather gets the whole cast and audience jumping to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”.
Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker.
The Bodyguard the musical at the Adelphi theatre is a romantic thriller and features a whole host of irresistible classics, including:
- Queen of the Night
- So Emotional
- One Moment in Time
- Saving All My Love
- I’m Your Baby Tonight
- Run to You
- I Have Nothing
- Jesus Loves Me
- I Wanna Dance With Somebody
and one of the greatest hit songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.
Tony and Grammy award winner, Heather Hedley, making her West End debut is awesome in the role. Heather previously starred as Nala in The Lion King on Broadway. Lloyd Owen, probably best known for BBC’s Monarch of the Glen stars as Frank Farmer, with quiet authority and believable charisma.
“Heather Headley is among the top singers with a vocal that absolutely astounds with its intensity… This woman is one of the great entertainers of the day, on record and on stage.” – Billboard
In 1997 Heather Headley won the role of Nala in the original Broadway cast of Elton John and Tim Rice’s hit Tony Award-winning musical The Lion King. While still in The Lion King, Heather was asked to audition for the title role in the writing duo’s next Broadway venture together, Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida. Her portrayal of the Nubian princess, Aida, won her the praise of critics and the prestigious Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Heather continued her Broadway success in the pop charts with her 2002 debut album. Two songs, the single “He Is” and the album track “I Wish I Wasn’t”, both emerged as Top 5 R&B and Dance chart hits.
In 2006, Heather returned with In My Mind, her long-awaited second solo album.
Heather took her first foray into the gospel music world in 2009 with the release of her third studio album Audience of One, for which she was awarded the Grammy Award for the Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album.
Over the past few years Heather has also displayed her versatility as one of classical star Andrea Bocelli’s favourite singing partners. She has been featured in many of his American and international tours, his “Live In Tuscany” special, and his “Under The Desert Sky” live concert DVD.
Heather sang at the inauguration of President Barack Obama at the We Are One concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, so is particularly pleased at the President’s successful election for a second term.
This new Show in London The Bodyguard the musical is directed by the award-winning Thea Sharrock, whose previous credits include Sunshine Boys, Equus and The Misanthrope.
The choreography by the English National Opera and Royal Opera House’s Arthur Pita is spectacular and the set design by Tim Hatley is amazing.