Review of The Bodyguard at The Dominion Theatre London

The BodyguardTo say the show started with a bang and ended on a high note would be an understatement – the show grabs you with all its theatrical might and never lets go.

Unless you have been buried underground since 1992 the soundtrack to the movie has played out in the hearts and minds of all who ever watched the film or listened to the late, great Whitney Houston. If you are fanatical about either rest assured that the show’s producer’s have done an epic job and nothing falls short of brilliant.

If you weren’t born yet, shame on you! Let me fill you in – Former Secret Service agent, Frank Farmer is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge – what they don’t expect is to fall in love…

…and fall in love you will. I fell for Beverley Knight’s understudy Carole Stennett who is a superstar in her own right. Gliding through the octaves with the grace and ease of Whitney it was a pure delight to hear her power through the top hits.

The show centres around the family dynamic of Rachel Marron and her sister Nicki (played by Rachel John) who pines for a slice of her sister’s glory. A love triangle ensues and the pairing of these two characters act as a vehicle for most of the ballads. A powerhouse of talent both actresses hold their own bringing a different tonal magic to the most beloved songs.

The show is pretty true to the movie and the set designers have done an extraordinary job of bringing this to life on stage. With thrills not uncommon of a stadium tour the show offers a few unexpected surprises and the cast will have you dancing in the aisles – not bad for a Monday night!

Beverly Knight fans be warned, she doesn’t do Mondays but don’t let that get in the way of having a good time. By the time the rest of the cast has warmed your cockles I can assure you, you won’t be thinking about what you missed!

To summarise the show – “I will always love you!” and “someday (I’m coming back).” So don’t leave it to tourists to enjoy this spectacular show. Make a week night special or get out there of a weekend, however you choose…it is a must see and with the likes of Ben Richards playing secret agent Frank Farmer, your ovaries will thank you.

5 star rating

Review by Stephanie Caiger-Watson

Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a whole host of irresistible classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, I’m Your Baby Tonight, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and one of the greatest hit songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.

Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. film, Thea Sharrock’s production of The Bodyguard has book by Alex Dinelaris. With designs by Tim Hatley, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Richard Brooker, video designs by Duncan McLean, choreography by Karen Bruce, orchestrations by Chris Egan, musical supervision by Richard Beadle and production musical supervision by Mike Dixon, The Bodyguard is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.

Buy Tickets Here

The Bodyguard
Dominion Theatre
268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7AQ
Book London theatre tickets online 24/7 and by telephone 020 7492 1602

Remedial Remedies is a play that will resonate with generations to come

Remedial RemediesI often find when a play is set in a school it is hard to get to grips with. Firstly, we usually have an actor clearly in their mid-twenties trying to portray a teenager. Secondly, it’s usually written by someone who left school themselves ten or more years ago and the language can often feel out dated, with 90’s phrases like “whatever minger” being tossed to-and- fro. I guess it’s like trying to write a play about living on a canal boat when you’ve never left dry land. The school system, teenage colloquialisms and the process of learning and teaching change so rapidly, it’s hard to stay on the ball. Remedial Remedies manages to avoid all of this and instead gives a us a beautiful, charming and boisterous take on life in a standard British Comprehensive.

Bruce (Joseph Cox), Kevin (Samuel Ranger), Jack (Arian Nik) and Ben (Joshua Akehurst) are retaking English GCSE, hoping to finally get their C grade and write a half decent essay on their set text – The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. We journey with them through their intensive week of revision with the ever hopeful Mr Winterdon (Miles Parker) as he tries to keep their exam and himself from crumbling before their eyes.

Moments of beauty echo through the chaos reminding us that teenagers aren’t all mouth, fights and trouble. One of these moments resonates particularly hard at the class show and tell when we get given the smallest glance in to the boy’s home lives, with a stunning performance from Joshua Akehurst as simpleminded Ben. Stereotypes are challenged and you begin to root for these four lads.

You knew these characters at school and many, I’m sure, see themselves in them as well.

Hartnell has captured both the pressure and excitement of growing up and finishing school. His dialogue charges through at 100 miles per hour, making the moments of quiet all the more spectacular. Nothing is forced upon you, no explosive ending or huge dramatic climax. Everything is left to the audience to decide. You take what you want from it and every other line leaves you to answer your own questions (what was Mr Tumnus’s ulterior motive!?). Remedial Remedies is a play that I’m sure will resonate with generations to come and I can only hope we get a chance to see it transfer.

5 star rating

Review by Hugh Roberts

Remedial Remedies looks at how the youth of today are pressured, how the stress of exams and succeeding can affect their overall performance and social life. We follow the story of Bruce, Jack, Kevin and Ben, four students who have failed their English GCSE. It’s the run up to the resit of the exam and they have been placed into a special revision session with a support teacher Mr Winterdon. Each boy deals with the week differently, we see the effects of ADHD and discover more about their relationship with Winterdon, each other and their school, seeing how each boy has a different outlook on the exams and their future life. As the pressure starts to pile on we watch as the cracks begin to appear and see a hopeless Mr Winterdon trying to pave the way to greatness…

After a fantastic reception at our first On The Night we are very proud to now be producing Remedial Remedies as a full production at Upstairs at the Gatehouse Theatre in July!
http://www.upstairsatthegatehouse.com/

Cast
Kevin- Samuel Ranger
Bruce- Joseph Cox
Jack- Arian Nik
Ben- Joshua Akehurst
Mr Winterdon- Miles Parker
http://www.fallingpennies.co.uk/remedial-remedies