REVIEW: The Bodyguard – Adelphi Theatre, London

What can I say about a blockbusting juggernaut of a show like this? Based on the 1992 Warner Brothers film and packing in a career worth of Whitney Houston tunes, it tells the story of former Secret Service agent, Frank Farmer hired to protect musical superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. 

The movie storyline has been beefed up by Alexander Dinelaris, focussing on Rachel and Frank’s budding relationship and padding out the supporting role of sister Nicki. 

The production values are high: the set is spectacularly designed with many clever visual tricks and moves seamlessly from scene to scene.

The cast are of the utmost quality: headed up by Lloyd Owen (Frank Farmer) and Gloria Onitiri (Rachel Marron), both turn in highly competent performances, Onitiri’s voice is particularly stunning. The central pair are ably supported by Debbie Kurup as Nicki and a cast of sure-footed, familiar TV faces, most impressive among them Mark Letheren as the Stalker.

Production values and quality cast aside, there’s something missing here: there’s a great big hole where its heart should be and instead of that celebratory feeling when you leave a great musical, it leaves no lasting impression. Big, bold, brash, ear-splittingly loud and utterly undemanding but it falls far short as classic musical theatre.

 

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