Legally Blonde The Musical review: The musical version of the hugely popular movie comes to the stage in this new UK tour of the West End hit.
Legally Blonde The Musical review by Katey Thompson.
This musical is based upon the well-loved film starring Reese Witherspoon as a blonde sorority girl who decides to apply to Harvard to follow her boyfriend in the name of love.
The stage adaptation closely follows the plot of the film, originally adapted from a book by Heather Hach.
Elle Woods, played by Rebecca Stenhouse, is the pink fluffy girl who is not taken seriously by anyone at Harvard and struggles to settle in to the strictures of law school. Whilst at law school Elle meets and befriends Paulette Bonafonte, who is brilliantly played by Rita Simons of Eastenders fame. Paulette is thrilled when Elle uses her law school know-how to get her pet dog returned to her, the audience were almost as soft for the pooches as the rest of the cast and loved their presence on stage. Elles Chihuaha Bruiser (Bruisey Williams Dodd) drew a round of applause for her great show of obedience and natural stage presence.
Elle meets Emmett Forest (David Barrett) a teaching assisant at Harvard who helps her to settle in and advises her that the best way to get focused, start working and be taken seriously is to develop a chip on her shoulder. The two of them grow closer during the show, which isn’t a main focus of the screen version. Elle finally realises that Warner is not worth falling in love with and she starts to apply herself to her studies. Professor Callahan (Bill Ward) is excellent as the sleezy professor who thinks he can bully his way in the world and his advances on Elle are rebuffed.
Also read: Dirty Dancing (UK Tour) Review, 2017
Elle comes into her own during the trial of Brook Wyndham, a skipping fitness fanatic who bursts on to the stage in the second half. She is accused of murdering her husband but is desperate to keep her alibi private. Elles instinct and allegiance to her sorority Delta Nu kicks in, along with the help of her ability to spot if someone is Gay or European, and her knowledge of perms helps to keep her clients integrity and alibi safe.
The show opens with a riot of colour – mainly pink and is slow moving in the first half, the show really comes into its own during the much longer second half which included more whole cast numbers as well as the court trial. If I’m honest the second half did seem too long, and perhaps some of the more incidental dance numbers could have been sacrificed without the show losing out. The show had the potential to divide opinion, and is did sway from inanely annoying to brilliantly entertaining, but the buoyancy of the humour and the positively sugar-coated optimism kept the show afloat.
This show is fun to watch providing you can bear the pink and dipsiness of Elle in the first half, and becomes much stronger in the second. A show that reinforces the fact that you can be what you want to be, not what others think you are providing you are willing to change.
Legally Blonde The Musical review by Katey Thompson at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, October 2017.
Legally Blonde The Musical is running at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking until 14th October 2017.