There is just over a week to go until the opening of perhaps one of the most anticipated musicals of the year. THE BODYGUARD was one those films, along with the likes of PRETTY WOMAN and DIRTY DANCING, which were the ultimate ‘date’ movies during the late 1980s/ early 90’s, and this December 5th, the film based on Lawrence Kasdan scripted 1993 movie, which starred Kevin Costner and the late, great Whitney Houston, takes to the stage at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End.
Heather Headley plays the role of Rachel Marron in the film, while Lloyd Owen plays her bodyguard Frank Farmer. As mentioned above, the musical debuts on stage at the Adelphi on 5th December, and THN will have the definitive review on the morning of the following day. We can’t wait.
Here’s the full press release, including full cast list and bio, plus some thrilling production images from the show.
WORLD PREMIERE OF NEW MUSICAL
T H E B O D Y G U A R D
OPENS 5TH DECEMBER 2012 AT THE ADELPHI THEATRE
Heather Headley and Lloyd Owen lead the cast in new musical The Bodyguard, directed by Thea Sharrock. Other cast members include Debbie Kurup, Mark Letheren, Ray Shell, Nicolas Colicos, Mark McKerracher, Sean Chapman, David Page and Oliver Le Sueur. They are joined by Luis Buddy, Caius Duncombe, Jayden Fowora Knight, Kwame Kandekore, Taylor Lockhart and Malakai Paul who will share the role of Fletcher, Rachel Marron’s young son. Ensemble members are Nigel Barber, Jordan Darrell, Yasmin Harrison, Shanay Holmes, Holly James, Robert Jezek, Melissa Keyes, Gil Kolirin, Janet Kumah, Nick Maude, Richard Murphy, Gloria Onitiri, Ashley J Packer, Dharmesh Patel, Lucinda Shaw, Paul Smethurst, Charlotte Watts and James Wooldridge.
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. A romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a multitude of Whitney Houston’s greatest hits including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, I’m Your Baby Tonight, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and one of the greatest hit songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.
With designs by Tim Hatley, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Richard Brooker, choreography is by Arthur Pita, orchestrations by Chris Egan and musical supervision by Mike Dixon. The Bodyguard is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.
Tony and Grammy award-winning Heather Headley will make her West End stage debut as Rachel Marron. Having originated the role of Nala in The Lion King on Broadway, Headley went on to play the title role in Aida for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Her debut solo album, This is Who I Am, was nominated for two Grammy Awards. Her third studio album, Audience of One, won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album. In recent years she has worked extensively with Andrea Bocelli on his American and international tours and sung at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Lloyd Owen was last on stage in London playing leading roles in Loyalty at Hampstead Theatre and Blood and Gifts at the National Theatre. Previously his theatre credits include The York Realist for the Royal Court, Julius Caesar for the Young Vic, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for the Almeida Theatre and The Way of the World for the Royal Exchange Theatre. On television Owen is best known for playing Paul Bowman-MacDonald in the BBC’s long running drama Monarch of the Glen and Indiana Jones’ father Professor Henry Jones, Sr, in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. His other television credits include Ghost Squad, The Vice, Coupling, Wire in the Blood and Dead Gorgeous. His film credits include Apollo 18, Miss Potter, The Republic of Love, Between Dreams and the forthcoming Free Ride with Anna Paquin and Drea de Matteo.
Debbie Kurup (Nicki Marron) who originated the roles of Dee Dee in Tonight’s The Night at the Victoria Palace and KT in Sister Act at the London Palladium was recently seen at the Adelphi theatre, reviving the role of Velma Kelly in Chicago. Kurup played Mimi in Rent both in the West End and on tour in the UK. She also performed at the Royal Albert Hall in Chess in Concert and at the Night of 1000 Voices in 2007 and 2010.
Mark Letheren’s (The Stalker) theatre credits include The Country Girl at the Apollo Theatre, Comedians and All My Sons for the Bolton Octagon, Cloud Nine at the Almeida Theatre, Find The Lady for the Young Vic and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His many television credits include roles in Casualty and Wire in the Blood as well as Tales from Pleasure Beach and Judge John Deed. On film he has appeared in Control and Restoration.
Ray Shell’s (Bill Devaney) theatre credits include Vernon God Little for the Young Vic, Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Gone With The Wind at the New London Theatre, The Lion King at the Lyceum, Five Guys Named Moe for the National Theatre, Jesus Christ Superstar at the Barbican, Blues in the Night for West Yorkshire Playhouse and Starlight Express at the Victoria Apollo. On screen his credits include Young Soul Rebels, Velvet Goldmine and Monster Trilogy.
Nicolas Colicos’ (Tony) theatre credits include Wonderful Town at the Queens Theatre, Whistle Down the Wind at the Aldwych, Sunset Boulevard at the Adelphi, Mamma Mia at the Prince Edward, The Producers at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Sunday in the Park with George at the National Theatre and Out of this World for Chichester Festival Theatre. His screen credits include The New Statesman, Young Indiana Jones and Iron Eagle.
Mark McKerracher’s (Herb Farmer) theatre credits include Jean Valjean in Les Miserables in the West End and on Broadway, Sweeney Todd for Theatre Clywd, Cats at the New London Theatre, Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory and The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre. His US theatre credits include Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, South Pacific, Carousel and Evita. His screen credits include Kavanagh QC, Days That Shook The World and The Government Inspector.
Sean Chapman’s (Sy Spector) theatre credits include Angels InAmerica, Rutherford and Son and Sleep with Me for the National Theatre, Certain Young Men and Enemies for the Almeida Theatre, A Prayer For My Daughter at the Young Vic, Hamlet for Manchester Royal Exchange, Pride and Prejudice at Leicester Haymarket and The Clandestine Marriage for Bristol Old Vic. His screen roles include Peak Practice, Kavannagh QC, Midsommer Murders, Trial and Retribution, Murphy’s Law and For Queen and Country.
David Page’s (Rory) theatre credits include Pippin at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre, Kiss Me Kate on tour nationally, A Chorus Line for Sheffield Theatres, the European tour of Footloose and Saturday Night Fever at the London Palladium. On television he has appeared in Hollyoaks and his film credits include Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.
Oliver Le Sueur’s (Ray Court) theatre credits include The Fairy Queen at Glyndebourne, Hamlet, The Taming of The Shrew and Much Ado About Nothing for Bristol Tobacco Factory, Hippolytus for the Orange Tree Theatre a UK Tour of The Tempest and King Lear for Bristol Old Vic. His television credits include Law & Order, Doctors, Midsomer Murders, Margaret, He Kills Coppers, Murphy’s Law, Frankenstein andThe Great Escape.
Gloria Onitiri’s (alternate Rachel Marron) theatre credits include Takeaway for Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nala in The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, The Bachaae for the National Theatre of Scotland and Dreaming for Northcott Theatre and Lindbury Studio at the Royal Opera House. Her screen credits include Bad Girls, Grass and Resurrecting the Street Walker.
Alternating the role of Rachel Marron’s young son Fletcher will be Luis Buddy (aged 11 from Ealing, London), Caius Duncombe (aged 11 from Shepherd’s Bush, London), Jayden Fowora Knight (aged 11 from Lambeth, London), Kwame Kandekore (aged 9 from Leicester), Taylor Lockhart (aged 10 from Lower Earley, near Reading) and Malaki Paul (aged 10 from Edmonton, London).
Thea Sharrock’s production of Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys with Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths opened at the Savoy Theatre earlier this year, reuniting her with Griffiths who she directed in Equus both in the West End and on Broadway and in Heroes at the Wyndham’s Theatre. Her production of 13 completed a run at the National Theatre last year where she previously directed After The Dance for which she won the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Revival, Happy Now? andThe Emperor Jones. Her other theatre credits include Cause Célèbre for the Old Vic and The Misanthrope at the Comedy Theatre. Sharrock was previously Artistic Director at the Southwark Playhouse (2001-2003) and the Gate Theatre (2004-2006).