The Bodyguard: Knight Earns Her Star Billing Right From The Start, But The Story Lacks Depth
| By Harrison Fuller
The Bodyguard over at the Dominion theatre starring Beverly Knight and Ben Richards opens with a rather literal bang. The story of a pop sensation under threat from an obsessive fan has made its way back to the West End for a second run and is playing to full houses.
The show contains many well-known songs, including power ballad 'I Will Always Love You', which Knight more than does justice to. In fact, throughout the show, right from the very first high production number, she earns her star billing.
The show is packed with lots of production elements, fire, smoke, a lift, moving set pieces and an arc of mirror balls to name just a few. They all add to the glamour of fictional superstar Rachel Marron.
With a superb leading lady supported by a wonderful cast, hit songs and all the special of a west end show it is easy to see why this appeals. Certainly we must not forget the fans of the original film that make the pilgrimage to see it live on stage. All that aside, I must confess I left the show feeling a little disappointed.
That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the show. I thought it was a very good production but where I feel I would have liked more, is not the flashy stage effects, but the story. The development between Knight’s pop star and her new bodyguard was lacking and seemed to move quickly to allow for the next show stopping number. The animosity between the two and the subsequent relationship that ensues, to me, needed more depth.
Likewise with the story of the stalker. I would have liked a little more intrigue and mystery, perhaps a few more near misses before we see him. Allow him to live in the shadows a bit more before he is revealed. The use of a video showing him with a stolen dress and writing a threating note was a nice touch but I think had we not seen his face, it would have added to the threat and thus built the tension more.
Even with these thoughts, I am very much in a minority. The audience loved the show and many go back again and again to hear their favourite songs and relive their 'One Moment in Time'.