Manchester Evening News - - CHRISTAMAS IN MANCHESTER -

ADDING a touch of ro­mance to the fes­tive sea­son, smash-hit mu­si­cal The Body­guard is re­turn­ing to Manch­ester, star­ring Alexan­dra Burke. The songstress will once again play Rachel Mar­ron in the ro­man­tic thriller which is based on Lawrence Kas­dan’s 1992 Os­car nom­i­nated movie star­ring Whit­ney Hous­ton and Kevin Cost­ner.

It’s an al­lur­ing por­trayal of the love story be­tween se­cret ser­vice agent turned body­guard Frank Farmer and Mar­ron, a su­per­star he is hired to pro­tect from an un­known stalker.

The ro­man­tic thriller fea­tures a host of Whit­ney clas­sics in­clud­ing Queen of the Night, So Emo­tional, Sav­ing All My Love, Run to You, I Have Noth­ing, I Wanna Dance with Some­body and I Will Al­ways Love You.

Ac­cord­ing to the pop star she has been singing Whit­ney songs since a child and cred­its the late singer as the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind her strong work ethic.

“My mum used to do back­ing vo­cals for Whit­ney and when she sang with her on Top of the Pops she spoke to Whit­ney about me and said ‘oh my daugh­ter re­ally loves you and wants to be a singer,’” said Burke.

“Whit­ney’s ad­vice to me was to keep work­ing and never stop – to strike whilst the iron’s hot. That’s why in the past ten years I’ve never re­ally stopped as that’s stuck with me – work hard and strike whilst the iron’s hot.”

Burke rose to fame after win­ning the fifth se­ries of The X Fac­tor and her sub­se­quent de­but num­ber one sin­gle Hal­lelu­jah sold more than one-mil­lion copies in the UK. She also made it to the fi­nal of Strictly Come Danc­ing in 2017.

Burke has al­ready starred as Rachel Mar­ron to crit­i­cal and au­di­ence ac­claim in both the West End and the fol­low­ing sell out 2015/2016 tour. She says that she never tires of singing Whit­ney clas­sics.

“It takes me back to when I was a child and had a hair­brush in my hand and was al­ways singing Whit­ney to my Mum,” she said. “For me, the sto­ry­line never gets old.

“The songs aren’t easy to sing, luck­ily some of them aren’t in Whit­ney’s key which I’m very thank­ful for. At the same time, it’s very re­ward­ing. Singing Whit­ney Hous­ton six times a week is no joke and it’s very hard but also in­cred­i­ble.

“I think my favourite Whit­ney track of all time was I Will Al­ways Love You and a cou­ple of years ago after per­form­ing the show night after night it changed to I Have Noth­ing.

The Body­guard en­joyed a sell-out run at the Manch­ester Palace Theatre in 2015.

Burke joins Ben Lewis as Frank Farmer, Emmy Wil­low as Nicki Mar­ron and Neil Rei­d­man as Bill De­vaney. The Body­guard is on from De­cem­ber 10 to Jan­uary 4, 2020 at The Palace Theatre on Ox­ford Street. Burke will per­form at evening per­for­mances only so pa­trons should check be­fore book­ing.

Tick­ets are avail­able from at­gtick­­ester or by call­ing the box of­fice on 0161 245 6615.

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