Christmas has come early for some musical theatre fans as the all-new stage adaption of The Bodyguard opened for previews at the Adelphi Theatre this week. The thrilling love story is based on the 1992 film which starred Kevin Costner and the late, great Whitney Houston and features such classic hit songs as ‘Run To You’, ‘I Have Nothing’, ‘Queen of the Night’, and of course, ‘I Will Always Love You’. In this new musical adaption, directed by Thea Sharrock and with a book by Alexander Dinelaris, it is Heather Headley and Lloyd Owens who take on the iconic roles of superstar singer ‘Rachel Marron’ and the Secret Service agent-turned bodyguard hired to protect her, ‘Frank Farmer’. Headley is an award-winning American singer/actress who originated the roles of ‘Nala’ (The Lion King) and ‘Aida’ (Aida) and has appeared in numerous other productions, while Welsh-born British actor Lloyd has starred in the 2006 film Miss Potter and the TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles as well as on the stage, where he is known for the roles of ‘Nick’ (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), ‘Dan’ (Closer) and ‘George’ (The New York Realist). They’re not the only talent on the stage of the Adelphi though, as they perform alongside a stellar principal cast which includes Debbie Kurup, Mark Letheren and Nicholas Colicos and the outstanding ensemble team. If a show is deemed a success, then every cast member deserves a slice of the credit for that; that’s why this week I’m putting ensemble member Richard Murphy in the spotlight of In Profile.
Richard Murphy is a young actor from Ireland who went to Bird College and graduated from the 2-year acting course at Colaiste Stiofain Naofa school in Cork, Ireland in 2002. He has since gone on to appear in a range of both West End and regional productions, such as when he played ‘Keith Freeman in Our Country’s Good at the Studio Theatre in 2006. He followed that up with the role of ‘Harrison’ in the UK touring production of Chicago before joining the West End cast of the show at the Cambridge Theatre, reprising his role as ‘Harrison’ and also covering the principal role of ‘Amos Hart’.
In 2008, Murphy moved on to another popular West End show. He joined the company of Queen’s We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre, performing as a swing, and spent two years with the show. He then headed North to appear in Warwick Davis’ Snow White at the Manchester Opera House, understudying the role of ‘Herman’. His other theatre credits include: ‘Pirate King’ in The Pirates of Penzance (Shaw Theatre), ‘Sheriff Dodd’ in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Albany Theatre), Spirit of the Dance and Spirit of Broadway (UK Tours), performing in Sleeping Beauty, The Wizard of Oz and Cinderella in Ireland (Cork Opera House) and touring with the Cork City Ballet.
A well-rounded performer and particularly strong dancer, Murphy has already accrued a list of theatre credits to be proud of, with an ensemble role in The Bodyguard the latest one. His current West End adventure has only just begun, but it remains to be seen just where he’ll go from there. I’m confident however that he’ll be going only one way – onwards and upwards.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Sunday 11th November 2012