I have a confession to make: I've never seen The Bodyguard movie.

So my initial thoughts on seeing the musical at Leeds Grand Theatre were that it was essentially two hours of Alexandra Burke doing her best Whitney Houston impression.

I was very, very wrong.

The opening show of its two week run defied all my expectations, from its dramatic opening to the final triumph of Burke's rendition of I Will Always Love You.

It was apparent within seconds of the opening number that it's a big budget show. The moving, ever-changing set framed the show's key moments with bold bars of light, guiding your vision, while no expense was spared on creating important sets like Rachel Marron's lavish home and the lakefront cabin retreat.

It also managed to used video in a way that enhanced the story, without distracting the audience from the cast — used especially well to offer glimpses of the lurking, creeping stalker (played almost silently and brilliantly by Matthew Stathers).

Alexandra Burke in The Bodyguard
Alexandra Burke in The Bodyguard

But The Bodyguard's finest asset is its music — and the audience last night was treated to an astonishing array of talent, from the ensemble dancers to the powerhouse vocals of Alexandra Burke and Rachel John (Nikki Marron).

It was almost as if Burke was born for the role, taking on Whitney's back catalogue and making it look effortless. She wasn't just a singer, she was a performer , commanding the stage and holding the audience in her hand.

Her duet with Rachel John, I Run To You , was one of the most beautiful, moving moments in the entire show, while her chemistry with Stuart Reid (Frank Farmer) was instantly believable (even if the speed at which they fell in love wasn't).

Roshawn Hewitt, who played Rachel's young son Fletcher, is one to watch. He joined the adult dancers on stage with natural talent and confidence, and was utterly adorable throughout. He also showed off some impressive pipes in the encore!

Alexandra Burke and company in The Bodyguard
Alexandra Burke and company in The Bodyguard

The plot is cut down, understandably, compared to the film — but it still grips you from the beginning, with clever choreography and special effects creating a real sense of unease and tension as the show reaches its dramatic climax.

Burke's closing rendition of I Will Always Love You won elated screams and cheers from the audience, who were immediately on their feet for the curtain call — and remained stood, dancing and singing along, as Burke led the cast in a uplifting performance of I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

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I didn't know what to expect when I took my seat last night but ended up enjoying one the best stage shows I've ever seen. My partner, who was even less convinced about seeing a 'chick flick' musical, was bowled over and insisted I give it five stars.

So I have. Go see The Bodyguard and lose yourself in the incredible soundtrack, Burke's flawless performance and the unbearable tension of its thrilling story.

It will defy all your expectations.