REVIEW - The Bodyguard: Alexandra Burke is the queen of the night at The Hawth

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Stepping into Beverley Knight’s shoes is one thing. Stepping into Whitney Houston’s is quite another thing.

Stepping into both their shoes is on another stratosphere.

But that is the task Alexandra Burke has taken on as superstar Rachel Marron in West End smash hit The Bodyguard - running for two weeks at the Hawth, Crawley.

And Burke truly is was the Queen of the Night as she made the role her own.

If you don’t know the story - 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.

But it’s not about the storyline, it’s about the songs and are there many better artist’s greatest hits than Whitney Houston’s?

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The songs include including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, Jesus Loves Me, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and, of course, I Will Always Love You.

I always thought Burke was the most talented of all the X-Factor wins and she more than proves it here.

She not only sings and dances impeccably (we knew that anyway) but I think some people will be shocked by her acting chops - she nails the performance.

But it’s not just about Burke. Stuart Reid, as Farmer, is no Kevin Costner, but that is a good thing. If Costner played had played the role like Reid, the film would be much more fun. Reid, especially in the karaoke scene, displays great comic timing and chemistry with Burke.

The storyline is slightly altered from the film and Rachel’s sister Nicki gets a bigger role and that gives Melissa James a chance to showcase her undoubted talent. She gets to sing Saving All My Love and All at Once. James is one to watch.

The Run to You duet with her and Burke is the standout scene in the first half.

My only minor criticism is the tone - it’s all over the place with laugh out loud moments one second, then a very dark, sinister moment (with a wonderfully creepy turn from Mike Denman as The Stalker) the next. But that’s being picky.

But I don’t want to take anything away from what is a show that showcases some wonderful talent.

There are real goosebump moments and most of those are down to Miss Burke. This is One Moment in Time I won’t forget.

The show runs from Tue 24 November to Sat 5 December 7.30pm. And matinees Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm, Thursday 26 November 2.30pm.

Please call Box Office to book access performances on 01293 553636 if you are visually or hearing impaired.

Tickets: Mon-Thur: £43, Fri & Sat: £45, Wed & Thur 2.30pm:£35.

Discounts (Mon-Thur only) - Concessions: £5 off, groups 6 or more: £7.50 off.

Visit www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/theatre

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