I’ve a confession to make.
I’ve never watched The Bodyguard! Shocking isn’t it? I must be one of the only women to have let the somewhat iconic film pass me by. I know the songs and I know a little about the story, however, that’s where my knowledge of The Bodyguard starts and finishes.
It was in November last year when my Mum mentioned that Alexandra Burke was treading the boards as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard and that the show itself would be coming to our home city of Bristol. Mum had barely dropped any hints that she was interested in seeing The Bodyguard before the cogs in my brain began turning. Maybe I purchase tickets to see the show when it comes to Bristol in January, a great Birthday present for my Mum perhaps??
Her face was a picture when I presented the tickets to her on her birthday in late December, touched that I’d remembered the conversation we’d had a month or so previous.
Because I’d not watched The Bodyguard prior to seeing the show at Bristol Hippodrome this week, I had absolutely no expectations. One thing I was pretty certain of was this, Alexandra Burke would be an incredible singer to watch.
Let’s rewind to 2008. It was the first series Cheryl Cole was a judge on The X Factor, who can forget Alexandra’s audition that left Cheryl in floods of tears? Die hard X Factor fans will recall this wasn’t Alexandra’s first encounter with the reality TV show, having reached judges houses in 2005.
She sailed through to the judges houses once again and was chosen for the live shows. Week after week Alexandra wowed audiences with her show stopping voice. I, for one, will never forget the spine tingling duet she embarked on with Beyoncé during the live final in December 2008. Nothing short of incredible, and something I still watch on You Tube some 8 years on!
With this in mind, I was excited to have the chance to watch Alexandra perform in the flesh.
Having not been to Bristol Hippodrome since 2004 when I watched Mary Poppins, I was reminded of how incredible a venue it is.
There was an air of excitement amongst the packed crowd, it was almost as if the audience forsaw that we were in for an undeniable treat.
And what a treat it was.
The show had it all; drama (right from the beginning), romance, a bit of humour and some incredible dance performances by every single member of the cast. The set changes were slick, it was easy to see just how much effort and work had gone into creating the many different sets.
The orchestra were pitch perfect and deserve a huge amount of credit and then some.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the renditions of Whitney Houston’s extensive back catalogue, including iconic songs such as ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ and the show stopping ‘One Moment In Time’ (quite literally!). These songs weren’t on The Bodyguard soundtrack, however, they very much had their place in the show.
Every single member of the cast made the role their own, they danced, they sang and they acted their socks off, putting so much into the very high energy performances.
It’s very worthwhile to point out just how amazing a voice Melissa James who plays Nicki Marron (sister to Rachel) has. Theatrical but not OTT, she holds her own very well.
Stuart Reid who plays The Bodyguard himself, Frank Farmer plays a great part, it’s worth noting that come the end of the show I had quite the crush on him!
The little boy who played Rachel’s son Fletcher was an absolute star. Such a star in fact, I cried a few tears at the end of the show when he took to the stage. It must be the Mother in me!
Of course, I expect you’re wanting to know my thoughts on the lead performer herself; Alexandra Burke?
Everything I imagined and more. The girl has one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard. I felt truly privileged to sit in the audience and listen to her belt out some of my most favourite Whitney songs. She truly made the role her own, this wasn’t an attempt at a Whitney Houston tribute act. Her voice did not falter once, even when she broke out into some very high octane dancing.
Charisma just pours out of her and every second she was on stage, my eyes were fixated on her.
Without giving too much away, her last performance of the epochal I Will Always Love You is goosebump inducing, it had the wow factor in abundance. I could watch her sing that over and over again.
Judging by the audiences rapturous applauses, it seems I was in good company with my opinions. Alexandra Burke is a star and I’m already saving up to go and see her perform in Bristol when Sister Act takes to the stage later this year. I just know she wont disappoint.