Last Friday night saw the return of critically acclaimed The Bodyguard to London’s West End. The show has just embarked on a nationwide tour featuring Alexandra Burke and has now settled at the Dominion Theatre until February 2017.
Three time MOBO award winner and Olivier Award nominee (for Felicia Farrell in Memphis the Musical) Beverley Knight has reprised her role as Rachel Marron, ultimate diva and Hollywood megastar. She previously played the role at the show’s last West End home, the Adelphi, back in 2013/14 and has now triumphantly returned 2 years later.
The hit musical has undergone somewhat of a facelift in that time. The beginning of the show now sees some spellbinding visual effects and an array of new choreography that entailed Knight being impressively thrown around the stage, quite literally. For the entire performance the audience had the honour to witness Beverley’s powerhouse vocals as she showed us the best of British talent and belted hit after hit after hit. Her performance was emotional, strong and effortless, leaving the entire theatre wanting to scream for more after every note. Witnessing this woman perform is nothing short of a privilege and a joy.
Ben Richards (The Bill, Holby City, Guys and Dolls – Piccadilly, Grease – Dominion) takes to the stage as Frank Farmer, Marron’s reluctant Bodyguard (see what they did there 😉 ) and protector. Farmer is drafted in to protect Rachel, her 10 year old son Fletcher and her sister Nicki, as a man has become dangerously infatuated with the singer. The musical shows Marron and Farmer come to terms with their pasts and learn to love themselves and accept the other as part of their lives. Richards’ performance captures Frank’s cold exterior as well as his deeper, more emotional motivations behind his behaviour. He has excellent chemistry with Knight and the two put on a thrilling, emotional, amusing and believable performance throughout.
Rachel John (Memphis the Musical – Shaftesbury, We Will Rock You – Dominion, Sister Act – Palladium) stars as Nicki Marron, sister of the megastar protagonist. John gives a beautiful layered performance which shows the complexity of family relationships and different kinds of love. John starred as alternate Felicia Farrell alongside Knight as the lead during the recent production of Memphis the Musical, therefore their vocals were more than a match. This particularly showed during the sisters’ incredibly moving duet of Run to You. For even a non-theatre fan I recommend buying a ticket for this show just to witness that beautiful ‘Felicia duet.’
The opening night saw Jaden Oshenye take on the role of Fletcher, which is shared by 4 young actors. He delivered his performance with a confidence and artistic air far beyond his years. Fletch performs several dance numbers as well as musical numbers which were both adorable and fantastic.
The remainder of the cast is an incredibly talented ensemble that ooze energy and bring the wow factor to many dance numbers. Their talent is so overwhelming it is often difficult to decide where to look on stage as there are so many people to watch in addition to the billed cast.
All in all, this show is a spectacle you would be mad to miss. I for one will certainly be returning for more than one visit. Let’s see if I can notch up more than my 12 visits to Memphis 😉
The Bodyguard is booking at the Dominion Theatre in London until 7th January 2017.
Book online here
By phone: 0845 200 7982
Or in person by visiting the theatre at:
268 – 269 Tottenham Court Road
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