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#CocoLive – The Bodyguard, Bournemouth Pavilion, Bournemouth

Zoe Birkett offers an effervescent and dynamic performance in the theatre production of The Bodyguard.

Returning to the role of Rachel Marron for a second time, there’s no bigger fan of The Bodyguard than Zoe Birkett and her passion for the role is second to none.

Based on the 1992 romantic thriller film of the same name, the theatre production is an exemplary showcase of the songs of Whitney Houston brought to life by the talented Zoe.

The stellar supporting cast includes Emily-Mae who portrays Rachel’s slightly beleaguered sister Nicki and the charming former Emmerdale and Hollyoaks actor Ayden Callaghan who portrays the gruff titular character of Frank Farmer – the bodyguard brilliantly.

Stepping into a role originally portrayed by Whitney Houston is no easy feat, but Zoe is unfazed and really makes it her own. She is a sensational vocalist and shows what a triple threat she really is with her sublime vocals, dancing and acting all on point.

Her sensitive portrayal of Rachel, a woman who is fighting to live her life to the fullest, despite the threat from a mysterious stalker is feisty, but Zoe plays the role with an intoxicating playfulness that really makes the audience root for her and her adorable son played by the fantastic Kaylen Luke who is making his professional theatre debut as Fletcher.

Emily-Mae who portrays Nicki Marron is captivating and hits the spot of Rachel’s overlooked sister exquisitely. She has her chance to shine on a few different numbers including ‘All the Man that I Need’ and duetting with Zoe/Rachel too and sings with a real emotional elegance, particularly with her part of the duet of ‘Saving All My Love For You’.

Supported by a fantastic cast and ensemble which includes the wonderful Marios Nicolaides as Rachel’s stalker who plays the role with a real sense of sinister brilliance.

From toe-tapping numbers like ‘I’m Every Woman’ to ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ to mesmerising  power ballads like ‘Run to You’, ‘One Moment in Time’ and, of course, that classic tearjerker ‘I Will Always Love You’.

This was a first-class production and has it all – romance, intrigue and of course a huge selection of Whitney Houston classics which all make for a fantastic night out.

The Bodyguard is at Bournemouth Pavilion until 12th August 2023 – more information and tickets can be found here. Other tour dates can be found here.