They’re very big shoes – or vocal chords – to fill of course, as are those of Alexandra Burke, who has played Rachel Marron on the show’s last two tours. But, dare I say it, I preferred Emily Williams in the role of the superstar being stalked to either of her illustrious predecessors.
The Australian Idol runner-up has real star quality and gave a sensational performance as The Bodyguard returned to the stage in Southampton. Her rendition of the epic I Will Always Love You was utterly spine-tingling.
She had great chemistry with her bodyguard Frank Farmer, played with authority yet comedy by Ayden Callaghan, and her sister (Emily-Mae) who enjoyed her own stand out moment with her Saving All My Love solo.
A buzzing audience were silenced at the start by a very loud gun shot, one of a number of jump out of your seat moments which were scarier than anything else I’ve seen this Halloween.
It’s a very sinister show in places and we were warned before curtain up to refrain from singing along or we might not make it to the finale.
While this was a barely veiled reference to a previous show in Manchester, which was pulled when rowdy audience members used it as a karaoke session, no one dared risk it with the terrifying Marios Nicolaides on stage as the stalker.
If only the audience member sat next to me could have heeded the other pre-show advice and left her mobile phone alone for a few seconds.
I’ve no idea when she thought constant videoing and messaging in the theatre became acceptable, but she missed some exceptional singing and stunning choreography to the likes of Queen of the Night, Run to You and I Have Nothing.
This was by far the best show I’ve seen this year, if not longer, and I’m lucky enough to see lots of great shows.
The Bodyguard ended with a thunderous standing ovation and the chance to dance – and even sing – along to I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
See it if you possibly can.
The Bodyguard runs until Saturday (November 4). Tickets from mayflower.org.uk or 023 8071 1811.