Thomas Howells reviews The Bodyguard starring Melody Thornton and Ayden Callaghan, at Wales Millennium Centre until April 29.
Touching. Triumphant. Terrifying. The Bodyguard is nothing short of thrilling. The musical, combining the dramatic story of Frank Farmer, a bodyguard, and Rachel Marron, a music superstar, as they try to avoid a dangerous stalker, running alongside a soundtrack of Whitney Houston’s music is a success comparable to Mamma Mia! It is terrific!
A dazzling production directed by the talented Thea Sharrock, the show features all original songs from the movie, as well as many of Whitney Houston’s greatest hits including So Emotional, The Greatest Love of All and Saving All My Love For You. Melody Thornton and Ayden Callaghan deliver impressive performances as Rachel Marron and Frank Farmer, respectively.
The music, performances, and production value is highly appraisable, as it manages to capture the essence of the original movie. Furthermore, the incorporation of Whitney Houston’s music is a huge success, and it is sure to continue entertaining audiences for years to come. With its impressive production values and talented cast, “The Bodyguard” live musical is a must-see.
The collaboration between Tim Hatley and Mark Henderson has resulted in a seamless integration of the set and lighting design. The multi-level structure of the set provides opportunities for the lighting to be utilised in unique and innovative ways. For example, the lighting can be used to highlight certain areas of the set or to cast shadows, which can add depth and dimension to the production.
The lighting design also plays a crucial role in creating different moods throughout the show. During the quieter moments, the lighting is used to create a sense of intimacy and warmth, while during the more dramatic scenes, the lighting is used to create a sense of tension and suspense. The lighting is also used to transition between different scenes, providing a smooth and seamless flow to the production.
Overall, the set and lighting design are some of the best elements that contribute to the success of the production. It’s resulted in a visually stunning show that is sure to captivate and amaze audiences. The set and lighting work together to create a world that is both familiar and fantastical, and they help to bring the story of Rachel Marron and Frank Farmer to life in a truly unforgettable way.
My personal favourite character was Nicki Marron played by Emily-Mae, who expertly captures the characters ability to shine as a performer, while also highlighting her struggles as a woman. Her reaction to Frank and Rachel’s relationship adds an extra layer of believability and emotion to her story. In addition to her acting skills, Emily-Mae is also a talented dancer.
Moreover, it would be remiss to not mention the iconic costume design for “The Bodyguard”, a testament to the skills of Tim Hatley. The costumes draw inspiration from the 1992 film and incorporate various styles, ranging from casual streetwear to dazzling evening gowns.
Successfully transporting the audience into a world of glitz and glamour, the costumes perfectly complementing the musical’s storyline and play a crucial role in storytelling, generating excitement and anticipation amongst the audience.
Rachel Marron’s costumes are particularly noteworthy, capturing her status as a superstar with stunning pieces like the iconic red gown worn during “I Will Always Love You.” Frank Farmer’s more understated attire exudes professionalism and authority, as showcased in his black suit during “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” The costumes for other characters, such as the dancers’ sequined outfits during “So Emotional,” are also carefully crafted to add a touch of realism to the show.
I loved watching this musical and the only thing I could ask for is more! If you’re a Whitney Houston fan or you just loved the likes of Dreamgirls and Beautiful, you’re probably going to love it just like I did.
- For ticket availability visit Wales Millennium Centre’s website
- Melody Thornton discusses The Bodyguard Musical at Wales Millennium Centre.
- Photographs by Paul Coltas