Whitney Houston is perfect – not only because of her voice (which is obviously one of the main pulls of the film), but also because of her portrayal of superstar in crisis, Rachel Marron.
And a star in crisis Whitney was in real life too – we all know what happened, and I still can’t really believe that Whitney is gone.
For Whitney/Bodyguard fans, the lines are blurred. Are you watching a story about a singer called Rachel Marron, or are you just watching (and gawping) at Whitney and her amazing voice?
So going to see the stage version of the epic film was always going to be pretty poignant for me.
Rachel’s story is different from Whitney’s – in the film/stage show she’s being stalked, and needs the protection of a bodyguard (Kevin Costner in the film, Tristan Gemmill in the stage show), who she then falls in love with.
Whitney Houston is one of my favourite ever singers, so I was worried that Beverley Knight, though a national treasure with a ridiculously great vocal range of her own, might not be able to emulate Whitney.
But I was wrong – Beverley lends her own twist to Rachel’s story. She hit every note perfectly – and there are a lot of songs in this play! She doesn’t try to emulate Whitney’s voice, but instead sings in her own incredible style.
The play has been adapted from the film as a tribute to Whitney, and each of her biggest hits is in it – from I Wanna Dance With Somebody to I Will Always Love You.
The stage show is especially tense when the audience realises that Rachel’s stalker is creeping along the side of the seating.
And it was a huge success – Beverley got the standing ovation she deserved, even before the show was finished.
If you’re into Whitney Houston, and want to celebrate her musical achievments, then this is one musical you will enjoy.
A must-see for Whitney fans.
R.I.P., Whitney Houston – we will always love you!
P.S. As it was Beverley’s first night in the role, there was a good turnout of celebrities, from Emeli Sande to Shingai Shinowa of The Noisettes… and I found myself sitting next to Mel C from the Spice Girls. Which made me feel the ‘girl power’ even more. Perfect.
Our verdict: ****