BAZ BAMIGBOYE: The Bodyguard has a Knight to remember
Soul queen Beverley Knight is to make her West End debut when she takes over the lead role in musical The Bodyguard from Broadway powerhouse Heather Headley in September.
Beverley will play Rachel Marron, a famous singer being stalked by a psychotic fan in the musical, which is based on the Whitney Houston-Kevin Costner movie of the same name.
And it turns out there are some parallels between Beverley and Rachel. The singer got freaked out several years ago by an obsessive fan.
‘There was someone who got a little bit too excited. It was worrying, because he was at every single show — and he was definitely crazy,’ Beverley recalled of the fanatic who followed her during a tour in Sweden.
‘He’d be sitting there in the front row and I couldn’t miss him. He’d be holding up signs and it was very nerve-racking.’
She said security guards intervened after he kept sending her cassettes of songs he’d written. ‘It’s nothing to the extent that Rachel contends with, but it added to the pressure of getting on stage and having to perform,’ she said.
The singer revealed she hasn’t acted on stage since she appeared in school productions of West Side Story and The Mikado.
But the idea of doing something outside her comfort zone appealed to her — even though she was concerned about her lack of theatre training.
I told her she’s always been fabulous at shakin’ it on stage (which is an art form in itself) — and she laughed and said she doubted her ‘pelvic experiences’ got her the role.
Maybe, I said, but she does know how to get the most out of a tune. ‘I know how to get inside the emotion of a song and deliver it to an audience in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them,’ she countered. If you’ve listened to her songbook, and heard her sing hits such as Shoulda Woulda Coulda, Come As You Are, and many others, you’ll agree.
Heather Headley shone as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard directed at The Adelphi Theatre
Beverley Knight will take over the role originally made famous by Whitney Houston (pictured with Kevin Costner)
Beverley noted that her character, Rachel, sings ten songs on stage, while in her concerts she sings twice that. ‘But it’s a different kind of performance, with a different kind of energy. But one thing I’m certainly used to is opening my mouth and singing,’ she joked.
Director Thea Sharrock revealed that she and producers Michael Harrison and David Ian had tried to meet Beverley when the show was in early development, but she wasn’t available.
‘She was one of the obvious people to meet,’ Sharrock said, adding that Heather Headley and Beverley are from such different professional backgrounds it stops comparisons between the two.
‘Beverley’s got to learn to run the marathon several times a week,’ Sharrock said. ‘But she’s unbelievably well prepared,’ she added, before heading off to film the Christmas special for BBC1’s Call The Midwife, which she is directing.
Heather will make her final London appearance at the Adelphi in late August, and will star in the Broadway production that is expected to open late next year or early 2015.
Meanwhile, Beverley and new leading man Tristan Gemmill will begin rehearsals in August.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2341360/BAZ-BAMIGBOYE-The-Bodyguard-Knight-remember.html#ixzz2WKfUguiQ
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