As one of the most iconic movies of the 90s, The Bodyguard captured the hearts of millions when it hit the big screen back in 1992 and it seems as though the stage version is setting out to do the exact same thing.
The award-winning musical kicked off its two-week residency at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Tuesday (June 15) and you’d be a fool to miss it. Guaranteed to pull on your heartstrings, The Bodyguard is the perfect balance of a solid story and an utterly phenomenal soundtrack of Whitney Houston’s greatest hits.
I’ve never seen The Bodyguard before, but was well aware of the plot that sees bodyguard Frank Farmer handed the task of protecting famous singer Rachel Marron from a stalker who leaves a note and steals a dress from one of her performances.
X Factor winner Alexandra Burke is continuing to championing her role as Rachel Marron, with critics hailing her performance for unbeatable vocals and strong acting skills, due to the role being so incredibly demanding, she’s alternating with the unbelievably talented Jennlee Shallow, who is taking on a majority of the performances in the city.
It should come as no surprise that this show saw standing ovations on its opening night, Shallow’s noteworthy performance as the glamorous singer saw her pull of Whitney Houston’s iconic hits with ease. Her voice is so incredibly powerful that you can’t help but be drawn in by her.
Shallow works her way through the classics including Million Dollar Bill to the iconic I Will Always Love You. And for a role that is so vocally demanding, Shallow’s energy remains high throughout, she wastes no time in putting her all into every note and dance routine, while delivering bundles of emotion.
Having joined the UK Tour from the French version of the production, Benoît Maréchal appears as the perfect fit for the charming role of Frank Farmer. While the majority of his performance was applaudable, I often found he was slipping between an American and his natural French accent, which was a slight niggle, but didn’t detract too heavily for what was an otherwise powerful performance.
Micha Richardson was captivating as Nicki, Rachel’s sister. Often living in the shadow of her sister’s success, Micha’s performance certainly didn’t keep her in the spotlight as she too took on some of the classics and wowed the crowd with a superb performance.
Alongside its catalogue of hits that are bound to have you up on your feet by the end of the show, the staging and production of The Bodyguard is something that should be hailed. The opening scene is enough of an insight to let you know that you’re in for a bit of a treat, teamed with slick set changes and plenty of fire it completes the incredible experience that comes with watching The Bodyguard.
Disclaimer // I was invited to review The Bodyguard by Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. I did not play for my tickets, but was asked to write this review in exchange. Please note that all views of the show are entirely my own.
WHERE TO DINE BEFORE YOUR THEATRE TRIP
Ahead of going to watch the show, I was invited to check out the pre-theatre menu at The Bilash. Just a short walk from the Grand, The Bilash is a Michelin recognised restaurant that is serving up some utterly mouth-watering Indian food in the heart of Wolverhampton.
If you’re looking for somewhere to grab dinner that won’t leave you late for a show, then The Bilash’s pre-theatre menu is the perfect choice. Available from 5.30pm – 7pm, you can enjoy an appetiser, starter and a main course served with rice or naan, all for just £29.95 per person.
With four mains and 10 mains, there is a superb selection of both meat and fish dishes to choose from. I opted for the Chicken Tikka Shaslik for my starter, followed up by the Bilash Super: pieces of tandoori chicken cooked in a creamy tomato sauce flavoured with coriander and fenugreek. My friend also selected the Chicken Tikka for main, followed by the Polak Chicken: chicken cooked in fresh spinach for her main. By sharing a portion of rice and naan bread between us, it set us up perfectly for a night at the theatre.