Oh my god, you guys. I totally had the best Monday night! Martin Dodd’s production of Legally Blonde the Musical hit the Royal & Derngate last night and it’s nothing short of fabulous. It’s full of energy, it’s over-the-top, it’s slick - it’s hard not to have fun. Based on the famous novel by Amanda Brown and the 2001 movie, Legally Blonde the Musical follows Delta Nu’s sorority queen, Elle Woods, as she attempts to find a way into Harvard Law School in the pursuit of her ex-boyfriend Warner Huntington III.
Lucie Jones, the UK’s Eurovision Song Contest entrant, returns as the preppy, privileged and apparently not-so-serious Elle Woods. She gives Elle more sass and power than ever before. Although she may not be a dancer, I can't help but feel her uncomfortable-looking costumes helped. Nevertheless, she worked the routines well. With an outstanding voice for stage, Lucie admirably embodies a feisty yet extremely likeable Elle. Margot (Rebecca Stenhouse), Serena (Rachel Grundy) & Pilar (Delycia Belgrave), Elle’s three main sorority girls are a joy to watch as they follow her throughout, wearing the most spectalucar costumes of the show (Elizabeth Dennis). Helen Petrovna as fitness fanatic Brooke Wyndham undoubtedly stole the show with her remarkable skipping routine during Whipped into Shape. An applaud goes out to everyone involved in this very complicated routine.
The original storyline is retained well - with Elle’s obsession with Warner, proving she isn’t the ‘pretty in pink dumb blonde’, taking on her first murder trial and helping her hopeless friend Paulette - with the famous Bend and Snap scene. This production gives Legally Blonde a new buzz. The musical numbers are a treat to listen to, in particular, Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin’s hilarious Gay or European number during the murder trial. The entire cast looked to be enjoying every moment they were on that stage singing and dancing.
As Elle’s best friend, and soon-to-be lover Emmett Forrest, David Barrett has an obvious natural talent, catching Emmett’s nice-guy personality perfectly. Soap star, Bill Ward brings the right amount of pretentiousness Professor Callahan needs, whilst Eastenders star, Rita Simons is splendid as Paulette Bonafonte; she is hilarious, warm and vocally magnificent. But of course, it wouldn’t be Legally Blonde without Bruiser! I have to say Bruiser was the cutest cast member on stage. The whole production is certainly a hit. Along with a jazzy touring set (Jon Harris, Jason Bishop and David Shields) that works well with some fantastic choreography (Anthony Williams and Dean Street), I have no doubt this tour of Legally Blonde is a definite crowd-pleaser filled with brilliant new talent. - Holly Kellingray