The Bodyguard (
The Bodyguard  - The Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre

The Bodyguard has more the
feel of a pop concert than a musical.  
has spectacle, polish and incredible choreography. From the offset we are there
with the flames and flashing lights and backing singers and dancers and, of
course the wonderful music. Alexandra Burke, is well cast as diva Rachel; her
powerful voice and singing performance are impressive. Her spoken sections
where she needs to do a bit of acting are a little less impressive, but nonetheless
she gives it her all, bringing a more homely aspect to the character of Rachel
than appears in the film. Being on stage throughout almost the whole show and
having to perform sixteen numbers, including the iconic ‘I will always love
you’, requires unlimited energy and Burke delivers.

Without doubt the stage is
Alexandra Burke’s home and I can think of a number of other classic musical
theatre roles that she is perfect for and will grow into over her hopefully
long career. There’s no doubt she proved her mettle here tonight. In fact I
preferred her interpretation and the production of some of the usually more overblown
Houston numbers; Burke brought a subtle take to them. But whilst Burke is most
suited to the central role it is Micha Richardson (Nicki Marron) who perhaps
seems more confident on stage and perhaps more relaxed. With outstanding vocals
for all her work she matches Burke and at times puts her slightly in the

The bodyguard, Frank Farmer,
is played with great charisma by Benoît Maréchal. He plays the role perfectly –
self-effacing, but efficient and strong. Of course in contrast to the energy of
Burke he appears somewhat wooden and emotionless at times – one wonders how
they end up in bed, but familiarity and all that….. The thin storyline remains;
famous singer’s management hire ex-secret service agent to protect said singer
from obsessed stalker. There is an immediate dislike of singer for bodyguard
and vice versa but this soon gives way to love and then to sadness. But the
narrative is of minor importance – it is the music that dominates and fills the

 As for the rest of the musical - the staging
and lighting are complicated with dramatic cinematic projections and split
stages. No expense was spared on the décor including lavish boudoir and cosy
rural retreat. Karen Bruce has done  a
marvellous job with the choreography and the orchestra under Michael Riley
never misses a beat.

This is one of the best
musicals I have seen; go and see it if you can.

The Bodyguard the musical is
at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 23rd

0844 871 7652