REVIEW: The Bodyguard, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, Until April 18

ON STAGE ... X Factor's Alexandra Burke is starring in The Bodyguard at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.
ON STAGE ... X Factor's Alexandra Burke is starring in The Bodyguard at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

X FACTOR’S Alexandra Burke is stunning in her stage debut.

The singer portrays superstar Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard.

The musical, based on the 1992 film starring Whitney Houston, is an absolute spectacle.

Burke had some big shoes to fill, there’s no doubt about that, but she is sensational in the role.

She has the voice – that’s for sure. Her rendition of Houston’s songs in the soundtrack, like Million Dollar Bill, Queen of the Night, So Emotional and Where Do Broken Hearts Go, are gorgeous and powerful.

But she also has the acting skills to go along with it. She wonderfully portrays the diva songstress and loving single mother of 10-year-old Fletcher (Jhayheim Davis).

The story sees Rachel targeted by an obsessive stalker (Mike Denman), who sparks fear for her safety after he manages to sneak into her dressing room one night and leave a note.

Her manager Bill Devaney (Mensah Bediako) hires bodyguard Frank Farmer (Stuart Reid), tipped as the best in the business, to protect her.

The show has everything. It’s a tense thriller, a comedy, and a love story, as well as a concert.

Farmer is suitably reserved and professional as the bodyguard, and the handsome actor had everyone swooning – not just Rachel.

ON STAGE ... Alexandra Burke as Rachel Marron and Stuart Reid as Frank Farmer.

ON STAGE ... Alexandra Burke as Rachel Marron and Stuart Reid as Frank Farmer.

Denman is ominous and threatening in his role and Melissa James also shines as Rachel’s sister, Nicki. She too has a beautiful voice.

Young Davis also made a huge impression as Fletcher, showcasing fabulous dance moves and a gorgeous voice.

The set is absolutely stunning and one of the best I’ve ever seen.

Pre-recorded sections projected onto a huge screen filling the stage and sliding panels that help to completely overhaul the scenery, transforms the stage so much that I could hardly believe it was the same space.

Burke had some big shoes to fill, there’s no doubt about that, but she is sensational in the role.

From Rachel’s home, to dressing rooms, a karaoke bar, log cabin, and the recording studio, the stage was totally transformed for each scene.

Fire, lighting, and smoke effects were intense and atmospheric and costumes were gorgeous – the show was a real visual spectacle.

The finale of I Will Always Love You brought everyone to their feet in a standing ovation and rapturous applause that continued indefinitely.

The crowd stayed on their feet for a dance and singalong to I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

Choreography is also a huge part of the show. It’s quick, slick and impressive.

The show is tense and emotional and one I could watch again and again.

ON STAGE ... Stuart Reid as Frank Farmer and Mensah Bediako as Bill Devaney.

ON STAGE ... Stuart Reid as Frank Farmer and Mensah Bediako as Bill Devaney.

I will always love The Bodyguard – that’s for sure.

The Bodyguard runs at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal until April 18. Click here to book tickets.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVicki