Thursday, February 29

The Bodyguard – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Based on the 1992 film of the same name, this award-winning production comes to Birmingham for a four-week run.

Rachel Marron is a singing sensation, but is she also in danger from a stalker? Frank Farmer is called in to find out and protect her if she will let him. Will her entourage around her appreciate his interference, as she fights for an Oscar to add to her extensive trophy cabinet?

Part concert, part thriller, part romance, this show grabs your attention from the very first moment and holds it. With effects, lighting and sound that wouldn’t look out of place in an arena, you are projected headlong into the action. While the story may be a little thin in places, the vocal performances more than make up for that.

With songs showcasing the work of Whitney Houston, it would be tempting to mimic the star. However, Emily Williams (Rachel Marron) gave an outstanding performance, making the role her own. From the sensitive ballads to the strong powerful concert style numbers, her voice filled the room.

Another impressive vocal performance was from Emily-Mae who played Nicki Marron, always in her sister’s shadow. Steady Frank Farmer was played by Ayden Callaghan, keeping himself distant and professional while occasionally letting us see his more vulnerable and playful sides. His scene in the karaoke bar gives a moment of relief from the tension. The calculating Stalker was brought to life by Marios Nicolaides with just the right amount of quiet menace, saying much, without saying a word.

Photo: Paul Coltas

Singing, dancing, and acting his socks off, the young performer playing Fletcher, stole everyone’s hearts with his polished performance. The other actors on the stage all gave strong performances that added to the overall quality of the show.

The dancers are incredible, their strength and energy are matched by the spectacular lifts during the routines. This all adds to the spectacle and pop performance feel of the show.

It is hard at times to remember that the music is being performed by a live six-piece orchestra. The sound they produce shakes the rafters but never overpowers the singing.

Projection was used to striking effect during the show to enhance the storytelling, allowing us to see the stalkers actions. Clever use of curtains and a mostly minimal set let the action take centre stage while also leaving space for the energetic dance numbers.

You do not need to have seen the film to enjoy this show. The performances, music and every aspect come together to create an enjoyable evening. Give yourself a little treat to brighten the dark December nights. You will be on your feet at the end singing along to the finale, however you will be warned not to do it before.

Runs until 30th December 2023,

Reviewer: Annette Nuttall          

Reviewed: 4th December 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.