Heather Headley 'thrilling' in The Bodyguard stage musical
Whitney Houston's legendary role is reborn in this spectacular, undemanding West End show
What you need to know
A musical of The Bodyguard, based on the hit 1980s film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, has opened at the Adelphi Theatre, West End.
Thea Sharrock directs the romantic tale of pop diva Rachel Marron who falls in love with her bodyguard, Frank Farmer. Musical numbers include
the Houston hits I Will Always Love You, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and Queen of the Night.
American singer-actress Heather Headley (Nala from the original Broadway production of The Lion King) is Rachel. Lloyd Owen (Monarch of the Glen) is the bodyguard. Runs until 27 April 2013.
What the critics like
This stage version is "spectacular, stylish and delivered with panache", says Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times. Thea Sharrock makes the most of the sentimental nonsense and directs "an enjoyably super-swish production with tremendous flair and not a little irony".
It's a sleekly assured production, performed with "infectious zest and wholehearted commitment", says Paul Taylor in The Independent.
Owen is sexily laconic in the Kostner role and Headley is a stellar presence with a "knockout voice".
This production is far more enjoyable than the movie, says Charles Spencer in The Daily Telegraph. When it comes to selling a song with vocal swoops and trills, Headley appears to be "as fine a singer as Houston in her heyday, if not even better".
What they don't like
It's loud, it's soupy, it's corny, says Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail, and the projected film clips dilute the onstage drama. But it's undemanding - "a perfect end of the day for couples on a shopping trip to London".