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Friday, 31 May 2019

The Bodyguard | Mayflower Theatre

The Bodyguard, the iconic 1992 film featuring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, with some of the most incredible songs. I love the film and when I saw that the story had been adapted for stage, I knew I'd have to watch it at some point. Fast forward a few years, and it hit the stage at the Mayflower Theatre and I was invited along as part of the Southampton Bloggers to review the performance - how could I say no?
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre

For those of you who don't know, The Bodyguard tells the story of Frank Farmer, a former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, who is hired to protect pop superstar Rachel Marron, who is being stalked. Both of them struggle to be the one in control, and in true romance fashion, end up falling in love. I love the story, and adding in some amazing musical hits that you can't help but bop along to, and you've got a success in my books.
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
I fully expected that this show would be one of my favourites of this year - there was no question about it. What I wasn't expecting was the goosebumps that I would experience multiple times during the show and to be totally blown away by the end of the show. Alexandra Burke, who plays Rachel Marron, really bought the character to life. Putting your own twist on a character played by Whitney Houston is no easy feat, but Burke pulls it off. Her singing was breath-taking, and she plays the diva-esque character of Rachel perfectly. Her chemistry with Benoît Maréchal, who plays Frank Farmer, was totally believable, and her sisterly relationship with Nikki, played by Micha Richardson, was just what you'd expect. The entire cast was really talented, I was mesmerised.
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
Considering that the original film was set in the 1990s, I really appreciated the modern-day twists that were written in to this performance. The inclusion of Instagram and social media was particularly hard-hitting, as it really made me think about how easy stalking must be in today's society, where your every move is trackable online. If anything, this made the stalking aspect of the storyline even scarier, because it seemed so realistic.
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
I loved all the music (and haven't stopped playing the soundtrack), how could you not? They're classic Whitney hits, that everyone knows the words to. The whole cast did a really good job performing these iconic songs, particularly Burke and Richardson. But the absolute star of the show for me was Jesse Oniha, who played Rachel's 10-year-old son Fletcher. He was witty and funny, and his vocals were on another level. Talk about hairs on the back of your neck standing up. Absolutely stunning - I was so impressed.
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
Overall, this has to be my favourite show that I'e seen in a long time. I think it takes some real skill to take such an iconic film and make it such an amazing stage show, without losing some of its initial magic but this was done so well. And having the chance to have a sing-a-long and a boogie at the end of the show really put the cherry on the cake for me. The Bodyguard - I will always love you!
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
If you would like to be swept away by The Bodyguard, you can book tickets online here, or call the Box Office on 023 80711811. The Bodyguard is on stage at the Mayflower Theatre until the 8th June - I'd be so tempted to go again!
* My tickets to the show were complimentary from the Mayflower Theatre in return for my honest review. Thank you Mayflower Theatre.

Love Lexie

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