British Soul Singer Beverley Knight and Tristan Gemmill to Take Over in West End's The Bodyguard
By Mark Shenton
British soul singer Beverley Knight and stage and television actor Tristan Gemmill will take over the principal roles of Rachel Marron and Rachel's bodyguard Frank Farmer, respectively, in The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre, beginning performances Sept. 9.
They replace Heather Headley and Lloyd Owen, who originated the roles when this musical version of the 1992 film of the same name opened in the West End last December.
Headley is due to appear through Aug. 11; from Aug. 12-Sept. 7, she will be replaced by Gloria Onitiri, who also plays the role at scheduled 3 PM and 5 PM performances on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. After Sept. 9, matinee performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays will be played by Joella Moses.
Debbie Kurup continues in the role of Nicki Marron. Also in the cast are Richard Lloyd King (Bill Devaney), Stephen Marcus (Tony), Dominic Taylor (Sy Spector), Michael Rouse (Stalker) and Stuart Reid (Ray Court). Ensemble members are Gareth Andrews, Kimball Armes, Christopher Birch, Hannah Fairclough, Robert Gill, Nicky Griffiths, Ben Harrold, Jamie Hughes-Ward, Alex Jackson, Genesis Lynea, Fergal McGoff, Sara Morley, Joelle Moses, David O'Mahoney, Stuart Rogers, Kyle Seeley, Danielle Steers, Katy Stredder and Christopher Terry
Knight, who released her debut album in 1995, has sold over a million albums in the U.K., scored several top tens and four gold certified albums as well as the platinum-selling "Voice: The Best Of Beverley Knight." Her latest album "Soul UK" was a top 15 charting album on its release in July 2011; she is currently working on her eighth studio album. 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 and twice nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. She has presented four series of the Radio 2 show "Beverley's Gospel Nights" and appeared in two series of the BBC1 show "Just The Two Of Us." She has shared concert stages with Prince, Stevie Wonder and Take That, and sang "I Am What I Am" at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
In a press statement, she said: “I am so excited about playing Rachel Marron on stage in The Bodyguard. To be making my West End theatre debut playing such an iconic role is both somewhat challenging and highly exhilarating and it will be nothing but a privilege to perform the best of Whitney Houston's extraordinary catalogue each night on stage at the Adelphi Theatre."
Gemmill, who is best known for playing Dr. Adam Trueman in BBC TV's "Casualty," has also appeared on screen in "London's Burning," "Distant Shores," "Strictly Confidential" and "Cape Wrath." Stage credits include A Streetcar Named Desire for Theatre Clwyd, Dangerous Corner for Chichester Festival Theatre, Design For Living for English Touring Theatre and Henry V for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
About future productions of the musical, David Ian — who co-produced the West End premiere of The Bodyguard with Michael Harrison — told Playbill.com in May, "We hope to open on Broadway in the summer of 2014, the Far East at end of 2014, then Australia and Germany in 2015."
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 579 0094 or visit thebodyguardmusical.com for more details.
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