based on the Warner Bros film screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan book by Alexander Dinelaris.

Adelphi Theatre Strand WC2R 0NS To 27 April 2013.
Mon–Sat 7.30 pm Mat Wed & Sat 3pm.
Runs 2hr 25min One interval.

TICKETS: 0844 579 0094.
Review: William Russell 4 November.

Houston, we have a slight problem.

This latest addition to the glut of back catalogue musicals based, for good measure, on an old movie – think Ghost and Dirty Dancing – is an ineptly revised version of The Body Guard, the ancient Kevin Costner/Whitney Houston vehicle.

The plot has been slightly changed, to little effect, although it was no great shakes in the first place. But as the troubled diva Rachel Marron, threatened by a very unmenacing stalker – at least in the film he tried to blow her up, here he just leaves nasty notes – Heather Headley belts out the Houston numbers splendidly.

If that is not enough, as her sister Nikki, more sympathetic than in the film, Debbie Kurup does the same. They are both well worth seeing.

In the Costner role of the bodyguard with issues – he let one of his charges get killed – Lloyd Owen is suitable rough-hewn, although not quite in Costner’s blue collar, blue jeans eye-candy mould. He is, however, as good at playing a block of wood.

The sets by Tim Hatley are clever – lots of prisms and video effects – and his costumes are pretty good too. Director Thea Sharrock, who usually does more cerebral stuff, keeps it all moving at speed but the assassination attempt at the Oscars is risible.

However there are the songs, a terrific band and, after the bowing is over, a rendition of I Wanna Dance With Somebody which would send even the hardest heart out into the night glowing with pleasure. And guess who sings I will Always Love You first?

Frank Farmer: Lloyd Owen.
Rachel Marron: Heather Headley/Gloria Onitri.
Bill Devaney: Ray Shell.
Tony Scibelli: Nicolas Colicos.
The Stalker: Mark Letheren.
Fletcher: Malaki Paul/Luis Buddy/Caius Duncombe/Jayden Fowora-Knight/Taylor Lockhart.
Rory Fryman: David Page.
Sy Spector: Sean Chapman.
Nicki Marron: Debbie Kurup.
Ray Court: Oliver Le Sueur.
Herb Farmer: Mark McKerracher.
Douglas: James Wooldridge.
Minella: Robert Jiezek.
Jimmy: Gil Kourin.
Maria: Janet Kumah.
Skip: James Wooldridge.
Ensemble: Jordan Darrell, Shanay Holmes, Holly James, Robert Jezek, Gil Kourin, Janet Kumah, Nicholas Maude, Gloria Onitiri, Ashley-Jordan Packer, Dharmz Patel, Lucinda Shaw, James Wooldridge.

Director: Thea Sharrock.
Designer/Costume: Tim Hatley.
Lighting: Mark Henderson.
Sound: Richard Brooker.
Musical Supervisor/Vocal Arranger: Mike Dixon.
Orchestrator/Musical Arranger: Chris Egan.
Musical Director: Richard Beadle.
Choreographer: Arthur Pita.
Hair/Wigs/Make-up: Campbell Young.

2013-01-08 11:59:58

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