Review: Ex-Pussycat Doll has Glasgow crowd desperate to sing along in The Bodyguard
Last night’s performance of The Bodyguard at the King’s Theatre, quite literally, started with a bang.
This high octane energy was maintained throughout the show which told the well-known story of starlet Rachel Marron (Melody Thornton) who seeks the assistance of ex-secret service agent Frank Farmer (Ayden Callaghan) after she is sent a series of worrying letters from a shadowy superfan.
With the timeless music of Whitney Houston carrying the story, it was difficult to avoid comparing the musical adaption to the original 1992 film in which the singer starred alongside Kevin Costner.
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Luckily, former Pussycat Doll Thornton was at hand to fill Houston's shoes and did so with all the gusto you would expect from a performer who has spent over a decade wowing crowds across the globe.
While she put this experience to great use in flashy dance numbers like Queen of the Night, it was a pleasant surprise to find that softer songs like Greatest Love of All or Run to You truly showcased her outstanding vocal range.
This was in part due to an undeniable chemistry with on-stage love interest Callaghan, a former Emmerdale and Hollyoaks star who brought a welcome dose of warmth to the character of Frank Farmer who could otherwise be mistaken for the ultimate fun sponge.
In particular, a karaoke scene in which he deadpanned the show’s biggest hit, I Will Always Love You, had the audience falling for his charm at the exact same moment as the show’s heroine.
Worth mentioning too was a powerhouse performance from Emily-Mae who played Nicki, Rachel’s green-eyed older sister who finds herself living in the global superstar’s shadow and fighting for the affections of Farmer with deadly results.
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Woven throughout the laughs, sequins and pyrotechnics were genuinely unsettling moments which reminded us that danger was never far away thanks to a character known simply as The Stalker played with ample levels of creepiness by Marios Nicolaides.
These flashes of peril ramped up to a tense climactic scene before Thornton herself tackled I Will Always Love You with all the melodrama we could have hoped for.
In fact, it’s a rendition so rousing that a scattering of audience members found it hard to stop themselves from joining in as the chorus swelled, despite a number of pre-show warnings to resist the urge to singalong. Glasgow crowds do love a party, after all.
Thankfully, after giving the cast a well-deserved standing ovation, the whole theatre was invited to harmonise with one of Houston’s poppiest hits, ending the night with the same invigorating jolt to the system as we experienced as the curtain rose.
Our verdict? This sold-out show is sure to inspire Glasgow audiences to wanna dance with somebody until its closing night on Saturday, February 4.
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