One of the great pleasures of living in London is being in close proximity to the West End. Having recently been invited to see The Bodyguard and Top Hat, here’s a mini review for those of you thinking of seeing either.
When the film The Bodyguard came out, I never really cared for it. This was primarily because I liked a Whitney power ballad and the film contained a mere 5, which was barely enough to keep me interested. The theatre version at the Adelphi has not made this mistake. Heather Headley, who plays Houston’s role in the show, barely visits the loo without breaking into song. This is a good thing, given that the saccharine script without any songs would be unpalatable. As it was, the combination of Heather’s Whitney-rivalling voice and 16 (oh yes, this is an extravaganza) of her hits made for a pretty darn good show. Provided you’re a Whitney fan, of course.
Top Hat is a whole other ball game. Based on a 1935 Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers classic, this show sticks more closely to the original and much of the dialogue is the same, which serves it well. My tastes being broadly similar to that of a pensioner when it comes to entertainment, I was in my element.
It is no wonder the show was nominated for 7 Olivier awards; the combination of Irving Berlin numbers (including Cheek to Cheek and Let’s Face the Music & Dance), well-choreographed dances, stunning costumes, witty dialogue and some excellent characters was enchanting. If you’re looking for an evening out for your parents/grandparents/in-laws, this is it. Chances are you’ll end up enjoying it more than you expected.