3starsculture

This year, the entertainment world mourned the death of the most awarded female act of all time - Whitney Houston passed away in a Beverly Hills hotel room, ending a glittering career.

Among the 400 awards received by the singer, the 1992 film The Bodyguard stands out as a landmark in Houston's list of achievements. The Hollywood story is being retold at the Adelphi Theatre in a new West End musical, starring Heather Headley in Houston's film role as Rachel Marron and Lloyd Owen as the lethal bodyguard.

Houston's beauty shone on screen in the original film as she morphed from difficult diva to giggly girl in love, as the protective Frank Farmer (Kevin Kostner) melted her steely showbiz facade with his quietly caring manner, whilst a deadly stalker lurked in the shadows.

We see a similar storyline on stage, with surprisingly less emotional complexity than the film; fewer plot twists, a pantomime villain and considerably less character depth.

Hits like Run To You, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and I Have Nothing are the memorable moments of The Bodyguard - therein lies the weakness. The production feels like an elaborate tribute act, with the plot of The Bodyguard incidental to Headley's mesmerising voice.

thebdoyguard1


Headley shines in this stage adaptation - softly spoken with an understated and calm presence, the actress neither mimics Houston's film performance nor tries to outperform the late singer. With her own self-assured performance, Houston's songs are allowed to dazzle on stage.

Despite a direct and crisp performance, Owen is certainly no Kevin Kostner. The actor's straight talking all-American character is lifted straight out of a 50s film noir. Kostner's quiet onscreen enigma is replaced with Owen's caricature of a bodyguard, swirling an American drawl around his mouth.

the bodyguard


Perhaps it is unfair to compare a stage show to the resources available in a film. However, The Bodyguard clings to the original movie with projected film sequences, including an action packed chase through a snow-covered forest. The cinematic effects gives the impression the musical has an identity crisis.

the bodyguard


The gimmicky projections almost ruin Headley's star performance of I Will Always Love You. Saved by a dazzling lighting effect that gets the audience on their feet cheering, Headley positively nails Houston's moving song, reaching the huge notes the late singer was famous for.

Alongside a pop-tastic rendition of I Wanna Dance With Somebody, we are treated to infectious 80s bliss, proving that through Headley, the talent of Whitney Houston lives on.

Leaving the show on press night, Houston fans were giddily singing the star's hits all the way out the theatre doors. Those with fond memories of the singer and her music will enjoy this feel-good theatrical treat.

The Bodyguard is running at the Adelphi Theatre, London, 5 Dec 2012 - 27 April 2013.

Watch Heather Headley sing I Will Always Love You from The Bodyguard musical:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Heather Headley (Rachel Marron) and ensemble.

  • Heather Headley (Rachel Marron).

  • Heather Headley (Rachel Marron).

  • Heather Headley (Rachel Marron).

  • James Wooldridge (ensemble), Heather Headley (Rachel Marron) Lloyd Owen.

  • Lloyd Owen (Frank Farmer).

  • The original London cast.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Singers Whitney Houston (L) and Dionne W

    Singers Whitney Houston (L) and Dionne Warwick perform onstage during the 2011 Pre-Grammy Gala & Salute to Industry Icons, with Clive Davis Honoring David Geffen at the Beverly Hilton on February 12, 2011. The event, on the eve of the 53rd Annual GRAMMY, honored Geffen Records founder and DreamWorks SKG co-founder David Geffen who was presented with the President's Merit Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the music industry and the impact his efforts have had on music and the business of music. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Clive Davis And The Recording Academy's 2011 Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute To Industry Icons Honoring David Geffen - Inside

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 12: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Whitney Houston attends the 2011 Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute To Industry Icons Honoring David Geffen at Beverly Hilton on February 12, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy)

  • Singer Whitney Houston performs onstage

    Singer Whitney Houston performs onstage during the 2011 Pre-Grammy Gala & Salute to Industry Icons, with Clive Davis Honoring David Geffen at the Beverly Hilton on February 12, 2011. The event, on the eve of the 53rd Annual GRAMMY, honored Geffen Records founder and DreamWorks SKG co-founder David Geffen who was presented with the President's Merit Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the music industry and the impact his efforts have had on music and the business of music. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Whitney Houston waves to the crowd at the 36th Ann

    NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Whitney Houston waves to the crowd at the 36th Annual Grammy Awards in New York 01 March 1994 after she was honored for Record of the Year, 'I'll Always Love You,' and Album of the Year, the soundtrack from the film 'The Bodyguard.' At rear is her producer David Foster, who shared the honors with her. (Photo credit should read POOL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 1994 WORLD CUP FINAL

    17 JUL 1994 : WHITNEY HOUSTON SINGS DURING THE CLOSING CEREMONY OF THE WORLD CUP BEFORE THE ITALY V BRAZIL 1994 WORLD CUP FINAL AT THE ROSE BOWL STADIUM IN PASADENA CALIFORNIA. Mandatory Credit: Billy Stickland/ALLSPORT

  • (FILES) US pop star and entertainer Mich

    (FILES) US pop star and entertainer Michael Jackson (2R) gathers with Elizabeth Taylor (L), Liza Minnelli (2L) and Whitney Houston (R) at the United Nego College Fund dinner at a New York hotel March 10, 1988 in New York. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in on June 26 for the tortured music icon revered as the 'King of Pop.' AFP PHOTO/Mark CARDWELL (Photo credit should read MARK CARDWELL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 2/27/98 Los Angeles, CA. Whitney Houston at the 12th Annual Soul Train Music Awards. She recieved th

    2/27/98 Los Angeles, CA. Whitney Houston at the 12th Annual Soul Train Music Awards. She recieved the Quincy Jones Award for 'Outstanding Career Achievement' in the field of entertainment.

  • 1999 VH1 Divas Live

    Whitney Houston performs during the VH1 DIVAS LIVE '99 at the Beacon Theatre in New York on Tuesday, April 13. Other performers include Brandy, Tina Turner, and Cher, with a special performance by Elton John. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.

  • Singers Mariah Carey (L) and Whitney Houston perfo

    LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Singers Mariah Carey (L) and Whitney Houston perform 'When You Believe' during the 71st Academy Awards 21 March 1999 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO Timothy A. Clary (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 42nd Annual Grammy Awards - Pressroom

    Whitney Houston at the 2000 Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles, CA on Febuary 23, 2000 Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect

  • (FILES): This 23 February 2000 file phot

    LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: (FILES): This 23 February 2000 file photo shows US pop diva Whitney Houston performing at the 42d Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Houston has checked into a drug rehabilitation clinic, her publicist said 16 March 2004, providing a new twist in her long battle with drug addiction. Houston, 40, has 'chosen to enter a facility for rehabilitation,' her publicist said in a terse statement that provided no further details of the type or location of the treatment, but which contained a message for her fans. 'She thanks everyone for their support and prayers,' the statement said. AFP PHOTO / FILES / Hector MATA (Photo credit should read HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Clive Davis And The Recording Academy's 2011 Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute To Industry Icons Honoring David Geffen - Inside

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 12: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Singer Whitney Houston attends the 2011 Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute To Industry Icons Honoring David Geffen at Beverly Hilton on February 12, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy)

  • Whitney Houston In Concert

    BERLIN - MAY 12: US-American singer Whitney Houston performs live during a concert at the O2 World on May 12, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. The concert is part of the 2010 Nothing But Love tour to promote the album I Look To You. (Photo by Jakubaszek/Getty Images)

  • Whitney Houston Performs In Milan

    MILAN, ITALY - MAY 03: Whitney Houston performs at Mediolanum Forum on May 3, 2010 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

  • 2010 BET Honors - Show

    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 16: Whitney Houston accepts the BET Honor for entertainment during the 2010 BET Honors at the Warner Theatre on January 16, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

  • 17th Mercedes-Benz Carousel of Hope Ball - Arrivals

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 28: Producer Clive Davis (L) and singer Whitney Houston arrive at the 17th Annual Mercedes-Benz Carousel of Hope Ball at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 28, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

  • 2009 GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons: Clive Davis - Show

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Singer Whitney Houston performs at the 2009 GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons honoring Clive Davis at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 7, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • World Music Awards 2004 - Show

    LAS VEGAS, NV ? SEPTEMBER 15: Singer Whitney Houston is seen performing on stage during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on September 15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • US singer Whitney Houston attends in a w

    US singer Whitney Houston attends in a welcoming ceremony as a guest of honor for the polygamous Black Hebrew sect 30 May 2003 in the southern Israeli town of Dimona. Houston is in Israel for a week to make a recording with the sect. AFP PHOTO/Tal COHEN ISRAEL OUT (Photo credit should read TAL COHEN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Whitney Houston

    DECATUR, GA - AUGUST 27: Singer Whitney Houston leaves the DeKalb County Courthouse after a probation violation hearing for her husband, singer Bobby Brown on August 27, 2003 in Decatur, Georgia. Brown was sentenced to 14 days in jail followed by 60 days of house arrest for violating conditions of his probation, stemming from 1996 DUI charges. (Photo by Frank Mullen/Getty Images)

  • VH1 Divas Duets Post Concert Party

    LAS VEGAS - MAY 22: Actresses (L-R) Tia and Tamara Mowry with singer Whitney Houston attend the VH1 Divas Duets post concert party to benefit the VH1 Save the Music Foundation held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 22, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

  • Singer Whitney Houston Visits Israel

    JERUSALEM - MAY 27: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (R) welcomes singer Whitney Houston (L) and her husband/singer, Bobby Brown (C), at the prime minister's residence May 27, 2003 in Jerusalem, Israel. Houston is on a private tour of Israel. (Photo by Quique Kierszenbaum/Getty Images)

  • Bobby Brown Appears In Court

    DECATUR, GA - NOVEMBER 25: Singer/actress Whitney Houston (L) smiles at her husband, singer Bobby Brown, during a court hearing November 25, 2002 in Dekalb County State Court in Decatur, Georgia. Brown was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant for a DUI arrest in 1996. Judge Wayne Purdom set a trial of January 21, 2003. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Michael Jackson Concert - Day 1

    Whitney Houston performing on the Michael Jackson '30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years' concert at New York's Madison Square Garden, Friday, Sept. 7, 2001. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.

Take a look at all of HuffPost UK's theatre reviews:

Loading Slideshow...
  • ‘Leaving Planet Earth' And ‘Long Distance Affair', Edinburgh Festival

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/01/edinburgh-festival-review_n_3852176.html" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • The Tragedy of Coriolanus, Beijing People's Art Theatre, Edinburgh International Festival

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/08/23/the-tragedy-of-coriolanus_n_3806736.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/matthew-tucker/charlie-chocolate-factory_b_3502220.html" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW</strong></a>

  • The Cripple of Inishmaan, Noel Coward Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/26/the-cripple-of-inishmaan_n_3465766.html" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW</strong></a>

  • Sweet Bird of Youth, The Old Vic

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/17/sweet-bird-of-youth_n_3455786.html" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW</strong></a>

  • Passion Play, Duke of York's Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/09/passion-play-review_n_3412558.html" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Fallen In Love, The Tower of London

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/05/18/fallen-in-love-review-anne-boleyn_n_3298805.html" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Proof, The Menier Chocolate Factory

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/30/proof-review_n_2955940.html" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Peter And Alice, Noel Coward Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/26/peter-and-alice-review_n_2956014.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • The Winslow Boy, The Old Vic

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/22/the-winslow-boy-review_n_2908079.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • The Audience, Gielgud Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/07/the-audience-review_n_2828362.html" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Macbeth, Trafalgar Studios

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/26/macbeth-review-james-mcavoy_n_2768388.html"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Desolate Heaven, Theatre503

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/10/desolate-heaven-review_n_2658709.html"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • The Showstoppers, Royal Albert Hall

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/06/the-showstoppers-review_n_2616047.html"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Old Times, Harold Pinter Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/01/31/old-times-review-kristin-scott-thomas_n_2594377.html"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Cirque Du Soleil's Kooza, Royal Albert Hall

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/01/21/cirque-du-soleils-kooza-review_n_2521495.html"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • The Bodyguard, Adelphi Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/06/the-bodyguard-review_n_2250701.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • We Are Most Amused, Royal Albert Hall

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/28/blackadder-return-review_n_2207930.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Kiss Me Kate, Old Vic

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/27/kiss-me-kate-old-vic-review_n_2201155.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Unleashed, Barbican

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/24/unleashed-review_n_2184691.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • The Upstairs Room, King's Head Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/20/the-upstairs-room-review_n_2167940.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • The Dark Earth And Light Sky, Almeida Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/19/the-dark-earth-and-the-light-sky_n_2161070.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Where The Mangrove Grows, Theatre503

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/12/where-the-mangrove-grows_n_2118923.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Forests, Barbican

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/07/naked-shakespeare-forests-review_n_2087315.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Uncle Vanya, Vaudeville Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/05/uncle-vanya-review-anna-friel_n_2076358.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Forever Crazy Starring Kelly Brook, Crazy Horse Cabaret

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/02/kelly-brook-cabaret-show-forever-crazy-review_n_2063878.html#slide=1712838"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW</strong></a>

  • Nosferatu, Barbican

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/31/nosferatu-review_n_2053085.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • The River, Royal Court Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/28/the-river-review_n_2036119.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Michael Clark's Company - New Work, Barbican

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/19/michael-clark-company-new-work-2012-review_n_1984549.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Ding Dong The Wicked, Royal Court Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/10/ding-dong-the-wicked-review_n_1956042.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • The Second Mrs Tanqueray, Rose Theatre Kingston

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/08/the-second-mrs-tanqueray-review_n_1949503.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Timeless Tales, Christ Church Spitalfields

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/07/timeless-tales-review_n_1946667.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Our Boys, Duchess Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/04/our-boys-review_n_1938732.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Charley's Aunt, Menier Chocolate Factory

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/01/charleys-aunt-review_n_1930941.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • A Chorus of Disapproval, Harold Pinter Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/30/a-chorus-of-disapproval-review_n_1927155.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Let It Be, Prince of Wales Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/24/let-it-be-review-beatlemania-hits-the-west-end_n_1911281.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Mademoiselle Julie, Barbican

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/20/mademoiselle-julie-review_n_1902105.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Three Sisters, Young Vic

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/13/three-sisters-review-young-vic_n_1882599.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Donmar Warehouse

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/01/philadelphia-here-i-come-review_n_1726879.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Ten Billion, Royal Court Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/07/18/countdown-to-ten-billion_n_1684762.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • A Doll's House, young Vic

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/07/10/a-dolls-house-the-young-vic-review_n_1661048.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Land of Giants, Titanic Causeway, Belfast

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/07/01/land-of-giants-belfast-2012-art-show_n_1641600.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • The Last of the Haussmans, National Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/06/20/julie-walters-returns-to-_n_1611164.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Posh, Royal Court Theatre

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/06/17/laura-wade-posh-review_n_1603638.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>

  • Gross und Klein, Barbican

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/05/14/cate-blanchett-on-stage-gross-und-klein_n_1514595.html" target="_hplink"><strong>CLICK TO READ REVIEW.</strong></a>




The Bodyguard (REVIEW): Whitney Houston Lives On



The Bodyguard Musical

Date published: 12/06/2012


3 / 5 stars