Bodyguard singer speaks out about Manchester theatre fiasco after rowdy audience ruin show

13 April 2023, 10:48 | Updated: 13 April 2023, 10:50

Melody Thornton speaks after the Manchester Bodyguard incident
Melody Thornton speaks after the Manchester Bodyguard incident. Picture: Melody Thornton/Emma Louise Yates

The Bodyguard soundtrack is still the best-selling film soundtrack of all time.

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With tracks like 'I Have Nothing', 'I'm Every Woman' and 'Queen Of The Night', the soundtrack to the 1992 film topped charts around the world, received Academy Award nominations, and won a Grammy Award.

It also made the film's star, the irreplaceable Whitney Houston, the best-selling album by a woman in music history.

So when we hear the thumping drum before the final chorus of 'I Will Always Love You', it's hard not to sing along, even though it's near impossible to reach the same notes as Whitney.

That's precisely what happened during a performance of The Bodyguard musical in Manchester over Easter Weekend.

Some rowdy members of the audience screamed the lyrics much to the shock and anger of the rest of the audience.

The perpetrators wouldn't stop so the police were eventually called to remove them, which resulted in the show being cancelled and a fuming audience.

The incident has caused a stir nationwide about the future of theatre if the audience can't be controlled.

Now the star of show, Melody Thornton who plays the role of Rachel Marron made famous by Whitney, has spoken out about the fiasco.

The former Pussycat Doll has come out in defence of Mancunians and the passion their city brings to live performances.

She wrote on her Instagram: "Manchester has shown me nothing but love ❤️ over the years!"

"Some of my favourite memories I’ve made in Manchester… here’s one of them! #iwillalwaysloveyou Manchester ❤️❤️❤️" she added, which was shared with a video of a previous performance in the city.

Despite Melody defending what happened, the incident has sent shockwaves throughout the theatre industry and beyond.

Even though audience members were holding up signs asking people not to sing - Melody claimed she "fought really hard" to finish the final number, but to no avail.

'Please Refrain From Singing Along'.
'Please Refrain From Singing Along'. Picture: Instagram

There's been bickering between various celebs about the ugly scenes, with television presenter Alison Hammond declaring she wouldn't go to the theatre if there was a no-singing rule, before apologising.

That sparked debate amongst performers in the industry, with former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips clapping back:

"Alison thank you for your apology but I would just like to say, you have no idea what it is really like for those performers in the shows where the songs are popular hits and certain members of the audience feel entitled to join in."

The veteran choreographer went on to add: "Performers are unsure what to do. They are not trained when audiences get out of control and arguing with each other. It’s so distressing. Let’s hope this behaviour stops and normality returns."

The Bodyguard musical sees 'entitled' audience members thrown

Whitney Houston made The Bodyguard soundtrack the best-selling film soundtrack of all time, which still stands today.
Whitney Houston made The Bodyguard soundtrack the best-selling film soundtrack of all time, which still stands today. Picture: Warner Bros Studios

The theatre and live entertainment industries are in disarray at present with several high-profile incidents of anti-social behaviour at shows, including a recent Bat Out of Hell show in London’s West End.

Mobile phone footage from members of the audience at Manchester Palace theatre showed a woman screaming over the top of 'I Will Always Love You', before being removed by security with another woman.

The crowd at the time cheered and clapped whilst they were being dragged out, but by that time the show had already been curtailed.

There was already a previous pause during the musical's first scene to evict a handful of people who wouldn't keep quiet.

Then ten minutes before the show's finale, "mini riots" and "fights" broke out which caused a major commotion.

With several Police riot vans called in, onlookers couldn't believe what they were seeing. At a musical no less.

One audience member posted on social media saying: "Cannot believe what I’ve just witnessed at the palace theatre watching the Bodyguard."

"A mini riot after the show was stopped because audience members were trying to sing over the cast. Police riot vans been called in. Chaos."

Another attendee tweeted: "I’m new to the world of theatre. But sad and disappointed tonight at the state of some people's arrogance and disrespect while at a show."

"Completely ruined The Bodyguard, singing over the actors, to the point of them cancelling the show & police being called."

"Staff at the theatre done great keeping as much as they could under control and informing the audience of updates. Truly disappointing though, especially for the actors! Melody Thornton smashed it as predicted."

"However a shame we never got the see it all end."