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Alexandra Burke on stepping into Whitney's shoes in The Bodyguard

PUBLISHED: 09:32 18 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:39 18 April 2019

Alexandra Burke and company in The Boyguard UK tour Credit: Paul Coltas

Alexandra Burke and company in The Boyguard UK tour Credit: Paul Coltas

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Alexandra Burke returns to Norwich Theatre Royal this May as she reprises the role of singer Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard.

Alexandra Burke and Company in The Bodyguard UK tour Credit: Paul ColtasAlexandra Burke and Company in The Bodyguard UK tour Credit: Paul Coltas

The stage show is an adaptation of the hit 1992 film starring Whitney and Kevin Cosner as her bodyguard turned lover.

Just like Whitney, who won a Grammy and BRIT award for the film soundtrack, Alexandra made her professional acting debut when the show opened at the West End in 2014.

Since then she has followed in the footsteps of other female powerhouses as Deloris van Cartier in Sister Act, a role played by Whoopi Goldberg in the film, and Svetlana in Chess by Andrew Lloyd Webber with the part originally sung by Barbara Dickson.

Before branching out into theatre, Alexandra had a successful pop career after winning The X Factor in 2008 and she even got the chance to duet with Beyonce.

Alexandra has sold over four million records in the UK alone and her debut album Overcome went straight to number one with hit singles including Bad Boys, Broken Heels and The Silence.

Ahead of the Norwich show, we spoke to Alexandra about her time on Strictly Come Dancing, returning to music and the secret to success after The X Factor.

What can audiences expect from The Bodyguard?

I've been to Norwich before with the show so hopefully the same audience will come again and new people too.

Alexandra Burke in The Bodyguard UK tour Credit: Paul ColtasAlexandra Burke in The Bodyguard UK tour Credit: Paul Coltas

It is based on the iconic 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and this adaptation of the show takes Whitney's catalogue to create the story and it is an amazing show about a superstar who is assigned a bodyguard to protect her from a stalker and it is truly a love story.

What is it like to take on a role played by Whitney Houston?

It is definitely a lot of pressure but since playing this role the first time around I have done different theatre shows including Chess, Sister Act and Chicago and I am taking all these experiences back to the show.

It is a hard role to play but it is so rewarding and a privilege.

What is your favourite song to sing and why?

At the end of act one I sing I Have Nothing and Rachel and Frank fall in love and after that it is quite intense.

Alexandra Burke and company in The Bodyguard UK tour Credit: Paul ColtasAlexandra Burke and company in The Bodyguard UK tour Credit: Paul Coltas

Who is your biggest musical influence?

In music I definitely have to say my mum and acting I love Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz and to be fair Whitney was amazing in The Bodyguard.

Are you now moving more into theatre than music?

I'm definitely going back to music and am recording an album whilst doing this show and it comes with my heart and experience and will be more poppy than ever.

What are the challenges being in music industry at the moment?

I guess there is pressure in every walk of life and career you choose.

You have to take things with a pinch of salt and stay true to yourself.

Alexandra Burke and Benoit Marechal in The Bodyguard UK tour Credit: Paul ColtasAlexandra Burke and Benoit Marechal in The Bodyguard UK tour Credit: Paul Coltas

It is easier said than done but if you have a good support system then you stay grounded and take each day as it comes.

What is your favourite song that you've release?

It is hard to pick but my favourite ballad is The Silence I loved that one and an up-tempo favourite is Broken Heels.

What was it like to take part in Strictly Come Dancing, do you still dance?

I do a bit of dancing in The Bodyguard and it was fantastic to take part in Strictly and it was a great experience even though it was intense.

I'm still in touch with people from the series in a WhatsApp group.

How did it feel to win The X Factor?

It was ten years ago and it was amazing to have that platform and I still support that show completely and am still pinching myself.

With ratings dwindling for The X Factor, do you think they should call it a day?

I will always support The X Factor as that is where I came from and people still support it as it gives people like me the chance to follow their dream.

What does it take to succeed after The X Factor?

You have to remember the hard work starts after the show and you have to eat, breathe and love what you do.

When did you first discover you loved singing?

Well my mum always said to me she found out I could sing from moment she gave birth.

I decided I'd become a singer at the age of five and I had the help of my mother in the music industry who gave me all my grounding and is a huge inspiration.

Is there anything else you still want to achieve in your career?

There is still so much more I want to achieve in my professional and personal life and I won't stop until I get there.

Next year I have my album out and I'm recording that on the road and I'm also going to Japan later this year and I'm really excited.

Finally, why should people get tickets to The Bodyguard?

If you want to have an amazing, feel-good night and be up on your feet then you should come.

The Bodyguard comes to Norwich Theatre Royal from April 30 to May 11 and you can purchase tickets at theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk, by phone on 01603 630000 or in person at the box office.

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