As one of the iconic motion pictures of the 1990s, The Bodyguard still enjoys huge popularity. Now a decade on from its original adaptation to the stage, the musical returns to Glasgow this January and feels more fresh and engaging than ever.
When ex-Secret Service agent Frank Farmer is contracted to protect global superstar singer Rachel Marron from a twisted stalker, the pair’s close relationship quickly blooms – against the backdrop of family strains and an increasingly threatening pursuant.
This show carefully swerves the open trap for a tacky jukebox musical that could so easily have been. Instead, it’s firmly focused on story which it tastefully embellishes with Whitney Houston’s stunning catalogue.
Transitioning from pumped-up, full-volume concerts to cosy corners of the megastar’s mansion home let the audience into the reality of the protagonists’ world,
Bringing in elements of social media to this story brings it bang up to date, combining the drama on stage with a series of projections and super-sharp lighting.
There is no weak link in this stellar cast.
As Rachel Marron, the targeted megastar, Emily Williams dazzles. This lead oozes star quality and embodies the initially-guarded pop superstar. No stranger to this role, Williams brings her own take on the music of Houston, avoiding the potential for a tribute act and instead owning the catalogue as if it were her own.
As the titular Bodyguard, Ayden Callaghan softens from the square, strait-laced agent to the lover and protector of Marron’s family.
And they don’t come cuter than Kaylen Luke, the tiny nine-year-old who plays Marron’s son, Fletcher, with a cheeky smile and killer dance moves.
It’s a coming together of stunning vocal performances, a great story and a ridiculously slick technical production that make this show such a must-see.
Audiences are rewarded for their resistance to sing along during the show with a feel-good curtain call that has everyone up.
As feel-good nights out go, The Bodyguard is the hot ticket to secure this January.
Image Credit: Richard Campbell