As a fan of the iconic 90s film The Bodyguard, I was thrilled to hear the award-winning, international smash hit musical was visiting the New Victoria Theatre in Woking. 

Whitney Houston was already a superstar in her own right but the American romantic thriller elevated her to mega-stardom with her outstanding film portrayal of pop diva Rachel Marron. 

Emily Williams, who rose to fame as runner-up in Australian Idol before becoming a member of Australian girl group Young Divas, stars as Rachel, alongside Emmerdale and Hollyoaks actor Ayden Callaghan, taking the role of former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard Frank Farmer.

The buzz and excitement in the sold-out auditorium came to an abrupt silence when a loud gunshot went off. After the initial shock, the audience were mesmerised by a sensational, energetic performance of Queen of the Night by Emily and the dancers, with bolts of fire adding to the live concert effect. 

The show follows the familiar storyline from the film with Frank hired to protect Rachel from an unknown stalker and, after initial resentment from both sides, the couple become closer and ultimately fall for each other. Both actors played their roles expertly and the chemistry between them was clear to see. 

With so many of Whitney’s classic songs included throughout the show, such as Run to You, I Have Nothing and, of course, one of the biggest hit songs of all time, I Will Always Love You, Emily had a lot to live up to! 

She did not disappoint with flawless vocals and she delivered an outstanding tribute to the Queen of Pop!!

Emily-Mae Walker played the role of Nicki Marron, Rachel’s sister, and also offered fabulous vocals. With fantastic solo and duet performances from the two sisters and other cast members, this show treated the audience to West End quality. 

Another young star was the incredible Kaylen Luke, who played Rachel’s son Fletcher. At only nine years old, his dancing, singing and professionalism was outstanding. 

With humour, passion, astonishing special effects and accomplished set and dress changes, the cast and directors took the audience through a rollercoaster of emotions. 

After the final bow, the full cast sang I Wanna Dance With Somebody, encouraging the few people left seated on to their feet – a fantastic way to end a very impressive stage rendition of this classic love story. 

Alex Woodbee