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The Bodyguard, Theatre Royal review: A must-see moment in time

PUBLISHED: 15:03 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:04 02 May 2019

Alexandra Burke in The Bodyguard UK tour Credit: Paul Coltas

Alexandra Burke in The Bodyguard UK tour Credit: Paul Coltas

Archant

Alexandra Burke was the Queen of the Night as she stepped into Whitney's shoes in the new UK tour of 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 show tells the story of soul superstar Rachel Marron (Burke) who is reluctantly assigned the best bodyguard in the business Frank Farmer (Benoit Marechal) to protect her from a stalker.

Without warning the pair fall head over heels, thankfully not broken ones in Alexandra's case, in love but there are forces trying to keep them apart.

It is based on the 1992 film which starred Whitney Houston and Kevin Cosner and is punctuated with her back catalogue of chart-toppers from the tear-jerking Greatest Love of All to floor-filler I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

Alexandra first played Rachel in the West End in 2014, before going on the UK tour in 2016, including a run at the Theatre Royal.

The show was The X Factor winner's professional acting debut and in the three years since has demonstrated her musical theatre prowess as Deloris van Cartier in Sister Act, a role played by Whoopi Goldberg in the film, and Svetlana in Chess by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Alexandra is an absolute superstar and it is clear why the judges fell in love with her over 10 years ago on The X Factor.

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

As well as Whitney, she is following in the footsteps of Grammy award-winning Heather Headley and powerhouse Beverley Knight, who both played the roles in London before her, and she more than measures up.

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She plays the role of Rachel with the perfect balance of vulnerability whilst still maintaining the self-assurance of a global superstar.

Her performance of I Have Nothing at the end of the first half was pure bliss and marked the point in the show where she finally let her guard down as she learnt to trust a man again.

Playing opposite her was Benoit Marechal as Frank Farmer who was wonderfully mysterious and it didn't matter his American accent was a little patchy.

Micha Richardson as Rachel's Nicki also told the show's subplot beautifully which showed her jealously of her sister as she is seen performing in dingy bars and also loves Frank.

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

Her rendition of Saving All My Love For You is heartbreaking and her voice was faultless.

This is also a show about family and the relationship between Rachel and her son Fletcher, played by Emmanuel Owusu-Boachie, was a joy to watch and he was a firecracker with popping dance moves, angelic vocals and a cheeky personality.

The stalker, played by Phil Atkinson, also left me with chills down my spine and I won't spoil anything but there are plenty of jump out your seat moments along the way.

The production of the show was the best I've seen in a touring production with huge projection screens showing haunting videos of the stalker, stunning sets and even a platform lifting Alexandra Burke into the audience during end number I Will Always Love You.

The Bodyguard runs at Norwich Theatre Royal until May 11 and you can purchase tickets at theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or by phone on 01603 630000.

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