Casting update for the West End Production of The Bodyguard
Ben Richards will join previously announced Beverley Knight in the international hit musical The Bodyguard when it returns to the West End for a limited six month run in July this year. Richards will play Frank Farmer, Rachel Marron’s bodyguard, alongside Beverley Knight in the leading role of the Oscar-nominated superstar Marron. Performances begin at the Dominion Theatre on 15 July 2016 for this strictly limited season to 7 January 2017.
Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a whole host of irresistible classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, I’m Your Baby Tonight, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and one of the greatest hit songs of all time - I Will Always Love You.
Ben Richards can currently be seen in Hollyoaks playing Sergeant Ben Bradley, a role he has been playing for just over a year. Previously on television he played Nate Roberts in The Bill, Bruno Milligan in Footballer’s Wives as well as roles in Doctors and Holby City. His many leading roles in musical theatre include Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls on tour and in the West End, Danny Zuko in Grease at the Victoria Palace Theatre and on tour, Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever at the London Palladium and on tour, Jerry Lukowski in The Full Monty at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Tick in Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical at the Palace Theatre, Bill Sykes in Oliver at Sheffield Crucible as well as Franklyn Hart in 9-5 and Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages, both on tour.
Queen of British Soul Beverley Knight is a singer, songwriter and record producer who has been one of the UK's most consistent artists since the release of her debut album in 1995. She has sold over a million albums in the UK, scoring several top 10’s and four gold certified albums as well as the platinum selling Voice: The Best of Beverley Knight. To date, she has won three MOBO Awards, an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Urban Music Awards, been three times nominated for Best Female at the Brit Awards, as well as for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize and was also awarded an MBE for her services to music and charity in 2007. Knight has presented four series of Radio 2 show Beverley’s Gospel Nights and appeared in two series of hit BBC1 show Just The Two of Us as well as appearing on stage with the likes of Prince, Stevie Wonder and Take That. In 2012 she wowed a viewing audience of one billion with a rendition of the song I Am What I Am at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Beverley Knight originally played the leading role of Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre to great acclaim in 2013. She followed this by playing the role of Felicia in Memphis The Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical, and recently completed a hugely successful run at the London Palladium playing Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. Knight will be releasing her eighth studio album this Spring, her first in almost five years, as well as embarking on a solo tour across the UK in May and June.
Thea Sharrock’s production of The Bodyguard received its world premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in November 2012 where it opened to critical acclaim with Heather Headley as Rachel Marron and due to public demand the show’s run was extended. In 2013 Beverley Knight joined the cast and took over the lead role. The show continued to play to packed houses and released a further 300,000 tickets for sale. Alexandra Burke followed Knight as Rachel Marron in June 2014 who continues to play the role in the show’s UK and Ireland sell-out tour which completes its hit run in June this year.
International productions of The Bodyguard continue at the Beatrix Theater in Utrecht, in the Netherlands and the Musical Dome Theatre in Cologne, Germany. Both productions opened in 2015 and have been playing to packed houses and standing ovations since their first performances. Later this year productions will open in Korea and Italy and a US production will open in November.
Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. film, Thea Sharrock’s production of The Bodyguard has book by Alex Dinelaris. With designs by Tim Hatley, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Richard Brooker and video designs by Duncan McLean, choreography is by Karen Bruce, orchestrations by Chris Egan with musical supervision by Richard Beadle, The Bodyguard is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.
The cast comprises Beverley Knight (Rachel Marron), Ben Richards (The Bodyguard), Rachel John (Nicki Marron), Carole Stennett (alternate Rachel Marron), Mark Holden (Bill Devaney), Alex Andreas (Tony), Dominic Taylor (Sy Spector), Matthew Stathers (Stalker) and Glen Fox (Ray Court). Ensemble members are Omari Bernard, Faye Best, Pablo Ceresuela Torres, Carlos Ugarriza Crespo, Lisa Darnell, Charles Hagerty, Emma Joy Hopkins, Ibinabo Jack, Christopher Jeffers, Verity Jones, Annie Kitchen, Phoebe Liberty, Raul Naranjo Garcia, Mary Lynn Tiep, Michael Wade-Peters, Matthew Wesley, Emmy Willow and Mark Willshire. The young boys who will alternate the role of Fletcher will be announced shortly.