The Bodyguard, Manchester Palace Theatre – Review

‘I got the stuff that you want. I got the thing that you need. I got more than enough to make you drop to your knees.’ Very apt lyrics for The Bodyguard. I saw it at Manchester’s Palace Theatre earlier this week and it blew every other show I’ve seen in the past few months out of the water, like a man fishing with dynamite.

I’ve never seen The Bodyguard the whole way through, so I only knew there was a bit with a sword and the little boy fell into the lake. Apparently that isn’t what happens though! And Whitney’s sister isn’t in on it – I was so wrong! None of those things happened! And it’s never felt better to be wrong. The Bodyguard was phenomenal.

From the gunshot that opened the show I was gripped. And then ‘Queen of the Night’ started – Perky Burkey in full swing, diving off the stage into the arms of six hunky men, each individual ab popping out and poking me in the eye whilst they’re dancing with their big poles. Woah, baby! Get a mop because my basement was flooding. Like, mate, help me. Start to finish it was Whitney Hous-tastic! (I’ve been sitting on that amazing piece of wordplay since the car ride home, so you’ll take it without the eye roll and love it.)

Alexandra Burke played the role of Rachel Marron, global superstar and stalker-victim, and she played the role flawlessly; from every Whitney-ism, the way she talked, the hand gestures, the mannerisms. She was amazing. I was feeling Aly & AJ last night because I was ‘Like, Woah’. And, oh boy, have I missed that voice.

I’ve loved Alexandra since she won The X Factor, forever remembering her iconic performance with Beyoncé. She then climbed Machu Picchu with Fearne Cotton and dubbed herself Perky Burkey, boosting her in my estimations. What a peach! If anyone has any doubts about her, I strongly recommend they go and see The Bodyguard so they can be quashed in a heartbeat!

Alexandra is my first leading role MVP, and she’s more than deserving of it. I had goosebumps every time she sang. I felt her voice sweep over my skin and make me very aware of every single cell in my body. Absolutely sublime! I cannot praise her enough.

Usually my MVP is the sassy sidekick or retiring best friend who explodes out of her shell, but Alexandra owned the stage from start to finish. Her sister, Nicky, played by Melissa James, was also a strong contender for my top spot, especially with her rendition of ‘Saving All My Love for You’ which gave me chills. She was great and (SPOILER ALERT) her death scene almost finished me off. Seriously, though, singing about Jesus wanting her for a sunbeam and all that shit whilst she died in her sister’s arms… Stunning.

The main man in question, the bodyguard himself, Mr. Frank Farmer – hold me! I have all of the daddy thirst for Stuart Reid. What a guy! I’d let him jump in front of a bullet for me any day. At first I was like, ooh-er, maybe I’m not going to like this typical macho-bullshit totes ‘masc-for-masc’ guy, but I was wrong on a colossal scale. He was delightful!

I’m usually used to my girlfriends complaining to me about that sort of man and I never really understand what guys like that do for them, but when Frank was alone with Rachel and making her feel safe it all made sense. Their chemistry was tangible. I wanted him to wrap a blanket around me and not let me leave the house without him for my “safety”. Oh wait, that’s called Stockholm Syndrome… Meh, I’d still take it.

Also shout out to Rachel Marron’s stalker. He was sinister and creepy as fuck. I’ve never been so uncomfortable watching someone sniffing a dress, because that happens SO often to me! I’m the kind of person who’s scared of their own shadow and spends 90% of their time thinking they’re going to be murdered, so I was honestly feeling the fear and was genuinely terrified and perturbed by him.

You know what that means, though? He’s doing a bang up job! There were also quite a few scenes with him shirtless and he was BUFF so I was conflicted between my feelings of fear and lust… Mike Denman, run at me bro, but also like, stay away from me.

Okay, cast fawning done… Except over the dudes in the chorus, Perky’s back up dancers, all of the muscles; all of the hunky side-boob; all of the phwoar! They made me want to go to the gym and get super hot but also go home and sit in bed eating ice cream and crying because they’re so beautiful. When I wasn’t worrying for Rachel’s safety, I was girding my loins towards her dancers.

The sets and visuals of The Bodyguard are also stunning. This includes costumes and choreography. It worked perfectly. Flame red during ‘I’m Every Woman’, neon blue during ‘Million Dollar Bill’ and fire – FUCKING FIRE! – during ‘Queen of the Night’! I could feel the heat on my face! It was like Valhalla at Blackpool Pleasure Beach but with less vikings and more Whitney Houston and sassy head flicks. I was seriously living for this show! Karen Bruce, you are a titan of choreography! You absolutely nailed it! And Tim Hatley, those costumes – supremo! Please make me a warrior bustier so I can reenact the musical in my living room and show off my rocking set of boobs?

Everything was incredible. The music blew my mind. I tip my hat to the orchestra because they did good. They did very good indeed. You need to see this show. I’ve been in work today and all I’ve done is talk about how good this show is and how much I want to go again and how everyone should go right this second.

Tickets are available on the ATG website and if you don’t get some and go see this show, you’re an idiot. Please go. I implore you to go see this show. It will finish you off – in a good way! It’s on until 9 January in Manchester, and then heads off to Bristol Hippodrome, so you have no excuse. Treat yourself this Christmas.

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