'The Bodyguard' is latest vintage movie adapted into West End musical


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The Independent Culture

If you spent part of the nineties breathing in deeply before trying to sing Whitney Houston’s theme tune from The Bodyguard ([Inhale] “And aaaaaaaeeeeeeeeeeeeyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaye will always love youoooooeeeeeooooo/ [Breathe] Will always loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee youooooooo”) then you will be excited to hear the film is being made into a West End musical.

The Thea Sharrock-directed production with new book by Alex Dinelaris is the latest vintage movie-becomes-theatre hybrid to hit London town. It opens in November at the Adelphi Theatre starring Tony- and Grammy award-winning actress and R&B singer Heather Headley (pictured) as Rachel Marron (the stroppy superstar played by Houston in the film) and Lloyd Owen of Monarch of the Glen fame as her dashing bodyguard (aka Kevin Costner).

It is the latest in a slew of eighties and nineties movies to have been made into stage musicals.

Ghost, the stage incarnation of Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze’s 1990 macabre whodunit, is currently playing in London and New York, soon to open in Melbourne. A stage adaptation Dirty Dancing, the classic story of a girl who finds love with a rough diamond (Swayze again), containing the immortal lines “I carried a watermelon” and “Nobody puts Baby in the corner”, is currently touring the country to huge enthusiasm.

These delectable theatrical experiences follow the Tony award-nominated Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy, currently touring six European countries, which even briefly starred Whoopi Goldberg who played nightclub-singer-turned nun Deloris Van Cartier in the 1992 film when it appeared on Broadway in 2010.

With new casting for Billy Elliot having just been announced the film-to-stage show trend looks set to continue.

Lesser known, and more unusual, eighties and nineties Hollywood offerings which became stage shows include Madonna’s Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) and 1980 musical fantasy Xanadu. The only cheesy movie seam yet to be tapped (in my opinion) is the Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell romcom one. Roll on Overboard the musical please.