Review: Bodyguard The Musical, Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre
WHEN it comes to musical icons there are few to rival Whitney Houston, so I was fascinated and excited to see Bodyguard The Musical at Bournemouth Pavilion on its opening night.
Featuring electrifying music, superbly choreographed dance routines, vivid projections and special effects, the feel-good show certainty set out to dazzle from the very offset. Updated for the current day with references to social media and politics, the storyline of the production still remained closely linked to the iconic 1992 film which inspired it.
Despite the title, it is undoubtedly the role of Rachel Marron, a musical superstar with a terrifying stalker who is fundamental to the production. With her powerful and soulful voice, Zoe Birkett, stole the show with her spellbinding portrayal, and ability to effortlessly transitioning between mellow ballads and high-energy numbers.
Her rendition of hits like I Will Always Love You and I Wanna Dance with Somebody captured the essence of Whitney Houston’s original performances while adding elements of her own character to the portrayal.
Alongside her, Ayden Callaghan as Frank Farmer gave a superb performance in the enigmatic bodyguard role, perfectly capturing the silently strong character who becomes enchanted by the famous singer. Callaghan’s dominating stage presence provides a solid foundation for the chemistry which develops between the pair.
Emily-Mae as Rachel’s sister Nicki Marron was also superb, singing beautifully and perfectly portraying the inner turmoil felt by a sister living in the shadow of her superstar younger sibling. Ryo Appadu, who played the role of Rachel’s son Fletcher not only brought a cuteness factor but also danced incredibly with a stage presence that left no doubt he is a star in the making.
The production’s ensemble also helped elevate the production with an array of incredible dance routines and their seamless execution of large-scale musical numbers. The choreography was dynamic and visually striking, delivering many of the highpoints of this dazzling production.
The creative use of lighting, sounds and special effects further enhance the suspense and intensity of key moments throughout the performance. Costumes were stunning, with Zoe’s on stage transformations beautifully executed.
Anyone who loved the original film will be mesmerised by this spectacular production, but even for those who have not seem the original film, the show has plenty to love with stunning vocal performances, superb choreography and a suspense-filled storyline.
Bodyguard The Musical is at Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre until Saturday 12th August. To book visit www.bournemouthpavilion.co.uk