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Culture, Theatre

Review: The Bodyguard at Oxford's New Theatre


Last night’s dazzling performance of The Bodyguard – starring multi-platinum Australian artist Emily Williams as Rachel Marron and Ayden Callaghan as Frank Farmer – left audiences in high spirits after a classic feel-good night of fun and drama.

Produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian, this award-winning international smash hit musical delivered a night of exceptional talent, captivating storytelling, and an iconic soundtrack which added a nostalgic and emotional backdrop to a tense and gripping plot.

Williams showcased her theatrical prowess with an absolutely beautiful performance. Her vocals were awe-inspiring, and she effortlessly carried the weight of Whitney Houston's legendary tracks. When asked if she had a favourite to perform, it seemed an easy answer for Emily, “Honestly, I like singing ‘The Greatest Love of All’, because when I sit down and sing it, it’s so cliché, but it’s so honest to me. The song gets me the most, because it’s who I am on the inside, and it’s nice to be able to express that honestly to the people listening.” Her authenticity shone through in this hit in particular, demonstrating raw emotion and unbridled talent.

Ayden Callaghan – known for his roles in Emmerdale and Hollyoaks – portrayed the character of Frank Farmer, a former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard. Callaghan's stage experience shone through, and he embodied the endearingly protective and stoic nature of Frank. His chemistry with Emily Williams was effortlessly romantic and captivated the audience into the delightfully unexpected love story between a bodyguard and a superstar.

The portrayal of the stalker was a hugely important standout aspect of the performance. The team really conveyed a sense of threat throughout, heightening the suspense and adding a layer of intensity to the romantic thriller. Kaylen Luke’s adorable portrayal of Fletcher was also flawless – he’s a superb dancer, and the character of young Fletcher added a heartwarming touch to the narrative, providing a lighter side to the production.

The Bodyguard succeeded not only in delivering a thrilling and suspenseful story but also in creating a fun and feel-good atmosphere. They had the entire audience was on their feet at the end, singing and dancing. The infectious energy of the cast, combined with the timeless soundtrack, culminated in a truly engaging and entertaining experience.


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