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Alexandra Burke on Whitney Houston as she stars in The Bodyguard at the Marlowe Theatre

By Angela Cole

The X-Factor star singer Alexandra Burke is back taking on the role of Rachel in The Bodyguard, which she previously played in the West End.

After her time playing roles in Sister Act, Chess, and Chicago, she’s relishing singing Whitney Houston’s catalogue of work. “It takes me back to when I was a child and had a hairbrush in my hand and was always singing Whitney.”

If you’re not familiar with The Bodyguard, then Alexandra has a message for you: “It means that you were born after 1992, and you are very young and I am very jealous!”

Alexandra Burke in The Bodyguard
Alexandra Burke in The Bodyguard

The story follows Rachel Marron, a Grammy award-winning superstar singer and mother who encounters an intense stalker who will go to any lengths to get to her. Her team has to hire a new bodyguard to protect her and in the process she discovers that there is more to life than fame and being a singer.

"I think what’s really exciting about the show is that it includes Whitney Houston’s catalogue of work which really makes the show," she said. "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. For me, the storyline never gets old. People always ask me if I get tired of performing the same show six times a week but I honestly don’t. It’s never the same show each night. It was also an exciting prospect to be singing Whitney Houston for a year, which of course will be tough but at the same time very rewarding."

Alexandra reveals she had career advice from Whitney Houston
Alexandra reveals she had career advice from Whitney Houston

But she added: "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."

And Alexandra reveals her best advice came from Whitney herself.

Alexandra Burke returns to the role Whitney Houston played
Alexandra Burke returns to the role Whitney Houston played

“My mum used to do backing vocals for Whitney and when my mum 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” and 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 10 years I’ve never really stopped as that’s stuck with me – work hard and strike whilst the iron’s hot.”

And what of the future for Alexandra? “Hopefully in 2020 I’ll start to concentrate on my music for a bit.”

The show is at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, until Saturday, May 18. Book at marlowetheatre.com

Read more: All the latest entertainments news across Kent

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