Currently showing at the Wales Millennium Centre until the 27th April 2019 is the the musical production of The Bodyguard, which closely follows the plot of the the 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. Starring as Rachel Barron is Alexandra Burke, she who won The X-Factor, so her impeccable voice is never questionable but can a great singer actually act?! Yes she can, and that means both serious and comedic, timings were spot on too. She portrays the character of Rachel who initially has a very cold personality but then the character Frank Farmer (Benoit Marechal) enters as her professional and protecting bodyguard, she starts to change. The scene in the karaoke bar was funny, atypical example of a person singing, badly. The only sore point for me was in the same scene when you had a trio of ladies singing, they were attempting to sing poorly but were in-fact good singers. Perhaps using bad singers, to sing badly would have been better, just an observation.
Rachel’s sister Nicki was played by Rosie Cava-Beale, who actually stepped in for the other performer due to illness, and didn’t she shine and embrace her role. This is from a person who has only just come out of drama school. A star already. Playing the role of Rachel Barron’s son for this performance was Lemar Bucknor Jr., this very young chap looked really at home on the stage, and delivered a heartwarming rendition of ‘Jesus Loves Me’ in the cabin scene with Rachel and Nicki. This was all before the stalker (Phil Atkinson) appeared and well, I don’t wish to spoil it for you now do I?!
For me, the second act of the performance impressed the most, and the ending and the performance by Alexandra Burke was worthy of being on a real Oscar’s night show, or in a huge stadium. She was that good. I don’t think any singer could be better than this.
Apart from Alexandra’s voice, the other strongest element of the production was the set, scenery, and lighting. It was original, inventive, unique and always changing, the production team impressed with shadow projection, slow motion as well as fire, water, and rising platforms. It was clear to see and here that no expense wasn’t spared for this show.
If you could just pay the ticket price for the last five minutes of this show, and then the encore, I would pay it. Never have I had the pleasure of standing and clapping whilst the brilliant rendition of ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ was being sang by the star of the show. It was an ending to a stunning show that had everyone leaving with a smile.
If you can only get to see one musical this year, then this is the one!
Reviewed by Carl Marsh