Previewed 6 November 2012, Opened 5 December 2012, Closed 30 August 2014 at the Adelphi Theatre
Returned Previewed 15 July 2016, Opened 21 July 2016, Closed 7 January 2017 at the Dominion Theatre
The return of the stage musical The Bodyguard to London starring Beverley Knight as 'Rachel Marron'.
Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge - what they don't expect is to fall in love. Features the songs 'Queen of the Night'; 'So Emotional'; 'One Moment in Time'; 'Saving All My Love'; 'I'm Your Baby Tonight'; 'Run to You'; 'I Have Nothing'; 'How Will I Know'; 'Jesus Loves Me'; 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' and one of the greatest hit songs of all time - 'I Will Always Love You'.
Beverley Knight returns to play the central role of 'Rachel Marron' - the role she originally played to great acclaim during 2013 and 2014. Based on Lawrence Kasdan's 1992 Warner Bros. film of the same name which starred Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. This stage musical version has been adapted for the stage by Alexander Dinelaris and is directed by Thea Sharrock with choreography by Arthur Pita, designs by Tim Hatley, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Richard Brooker.
When this production returned to London, opening here at the Dominion Theatre in July 2016, Ann Treneman in the Times hailed it as being a "larger-than-life, glitz-and-glamour musical that is miles better than the 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner... The thing that really makes you sit up though is Beverley Knight's stage-storming confidence. She owns that large piece of the West End that is the Dominion Theatre stage, every inch of it, including the fire and the ice. Her voice, singing some of Whitney's best songs, wraps round the evening and, more than once, it sent shivers down my spine... she really is queen of that stage." Lucinda Everett in The Daily Telegraph said that, "thankfully, the cast add spontaneity and humour to the stilted script... [Beverley Knight's] voice though is what the crowds are there for. Powering through the hits with vocal acrobatics that (almost) live up to Whitney's, she is astounding to watch. With Knight at its head, this fun, if flawed, show could be one of this year's most successful revivals." Fiona Mountford in the London Evening Standard highlighted that "by far the best news of the evening is that Beverley Knight belts outs the songs with soulful oomph, reaching the furthest corners of the barn-like Dominion Theatre... the plot, not very sensible in the film, is full of strange holes and unconvincing references to modern technology... But I doubt anyone will be going to see this show for its narrative logic."
When this production opened at the Adelphi Theatre in November 2012, Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard highlighted that "this is a show of real technical dazzle. Thea Sharrock directs with a good deal of inventiveness. Tim Hatley's design appears suitably expensive and functions with impressive precision." In the Daily Telegraph Charles Spencer thought that "director Thea Sharrock has done a remarkable job. Her production, spectacularly and ingeniously designed by Tim Hatley, is far more enjoyable than the movie... I suspect it is destined for a long and lucrative run." Paul Taylor in the Independent said that "Thea Sharrock's sleekly assured production moves with a velvet fluency thanks to the screens that open and close like camera shutters in Tim Hatley's handsome, canny design... It is performed with such an infectious zest and wholehearted commitment that the evening is tremendously enjoyable... You go in humming the tunes; you come out whooping them." Libby Purves in the Times explained her "heart swells with British pride that this terrific all-American schlock is not a Broadway import, but is realised with floor-wiping brilliance by a West End director, Thea Sharrock, and designer, Tim Hatley," adding that "maybe it is the British pedigree of this absurd and hugely enjoyable show which gives it an unmistakeable air of romantic panto... So don't go expecting subtle scripting. Set and direction, on the other hand, are beguilingly clever." In the Guardian Michael Billington commented that "although the show is staged with enormous technical efficiency, it is one more example of the necrophiliac musical morbidly attracted to a cinematic corpse... Kasdan's original screenplay, reportedly rejected 37 times, was pretty silly to start with. But it's not made any more persuasive by the need to highlight the songs." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times wote that "Thea Sharrock makes the most of this sentimental nonsense and directs an enjoyably super-swish production with tremendous flair and not a little irony... It's spectacular, stylish and delivered with panache."
"If the plot - two tough cookies tough it out - doesn't actually grip, the show is a bit fuller than the seriously thin original film, largely to incorporate 14 songs (plus an extra one cleverly saved to get everyone on their feet for the curtain call)... Cheese has rarely been packaged with so much glitz. Director Thea Sharrock has pulled out all the stops... There's some truly stunning dancing, including a tango and a body-popping sequence, pop-concert lighting and fabulous detail: Rachel's extravagant hats match her embroidered, bejewelled corsets... Formulaic and mechanical as this show is, it's impressively polished and undeniably slick." The Mail on Sunday
"Everyone remembers Whitney Houston belting out I Will Always Love You and romancing Kevin Costner in the hit film. But now the story of a singing superstar who falls for her bodyguard has been turned into a musical that's packed with many of the hits the late diva made famous... Clever use of video projections make the show feel like a pop concert within a musical and really enhances some of the scenes... The Bodyguard should run and run." The Sunday Mirror
"Lawrence Kasdan's 1992 film was a highlight of Whitney Houston's career. The move from film to stage musical is often a bumpy ride... it's a strange musical where all the songs are delivered either by Rachel or by her unfortunate sister and assistant. Houston's soulful ballads are fine when Rachel is performing on stage, but they fare less well when they are shoehorned into the story without the irony of Mamma Mia!. Thea Sharrock's production contains plenty of spectacle without much emotional engagement." The Sunday Times
Although Lawrence Kasdan's screenplay The Bodyguard was originally written for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross, when the film was released in 1992 is starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston.
This production was first seen in London's West End at the Adelphi Theatre when it previewed from 6 November 2012, opened on 5 December 2012 and closed on 30 August 2014. The original cast featured Heather Headley as 'Rachel Marron' and Lloyd Owen as 'Frank Farmer' with Gloria Onitiri as alternate 'Rachel Marron'. Heather Headley made her West End stage debut as 'Rachel Marron' in this production having originated the role of 'Nala' in Disney's The Lion King on Broadway. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for playing the title role in Aida. In addition to her stage work, Heather has released a number of solo albums with her third album, Audience of One, winning the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album. From 9 September 2013 the cast featured Beverley Knight as 'Rachel Marron' and Tristan Gemmill as 'Frank Farmer'. From 2 June 2014 Alexandra Burke took over as 'Rachel Marron' with Tristan Gemmill continuing as 'Frank Farmer'.
The director Thea Sharrock - a self-professed huge Whitney Houston fan - says regarding the stage production: "I thought that the very difficult job of how to adapt it for the stage was exceptionally and very excitingly and incredibly freshly done by Alexander Dinelaris with a very generous hand of Lawrence Kasdan who has been the most amazing influence and generous partner in all of this, because this is his baby and he wrote this 35 years ago and he is getting a chance to re-discover it and the support he has given all of us is really amazing."
The musical The Bodyguard in London at the Dominion Theatre previewed from 15 July 2016, opened on 21 July 2016 and closed on 7 January 2017