Ben Richards joins Beverley Knight in The Bodyguard

Actor Ben Richards has been announced to play the title role in the West End return of The Bodyguard which begins performances at the Dominion Theatre on 15 July 2016 with an official opening on 21 July, where it is booking to 7 January 2017.

He will join the previously announced "Queen of British Soul" Beverley Knight who will return to the role of 'Rachel Marron', the part made famous in the film by the late Whitney Houston.

Based on the 1991 film of the same name, the musical follows Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, who 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.

The production features a whole host of Whitney Houston's greatest hits 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", "Jesus Loves Me", "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and one of the greatest hit songs of all time – "I Will Always Love You".

The original West End production of The Bodyguard opened at the Adelphi Theatre on 5 December 2012, and closed on 29 August 2014. The production has recently enjoyed a UK tour starring Alexandra Burke.

The show features a book by Alex Dinelaris and is based on the Warner Bros. film of the same name with screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan. It is directed by Thea Sharrock with design by Tim Hatley, choreography by Arthur Pita and lighting by Mark Henderson.

The cast will also include 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 Faye Best, Pablo Ceresuela Torres, Carlos Ugarriza Crespo, Lisa Darnell, Charles Hagerty, Emma Joy Hopkins, Ibinabo Jack, Christopher Jeffers, Verity Jones, Phoebe Liberty, Raul Naranjo Garcia, Mary Lynn Tiep, Michael Wade-Peters, Matthew Wesley, Emmy Willow and Mark Willshire.

Ben Richards's West End credits include productions of 'Up on the Roof', 'Hot Mikado', 'Smokey Joe's Cafe' and 'Grease'. He played the lead role of Tony Manero in 'Saturday Night Fever' as well as 'The Full Monty', 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' and 'The Little Shop of Horrors'. He is known for his TV work in popular shows such as 'Footballers Wives', 'Holby City' and 'Hollyoaks'.

Tickets for the West End return of The Bodyguard are now on sale.

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