Wednesday, 20 June 2018

 

Legally Blonde The Musical at New Wimbledon Theatre


Omigod, omigod you guys, Legally Blonde The Musical has returned to London for a limited run before it takes its pink-hued charm up north! It's cheesier and camper than the last time it graced the boards in the capital, but it is still hella fun with a fabulously catchy soundtrack and empowering message at its heart (not to mention an adorable romance *swoon*).

Legally Blonde may have been made famous with Reese Witherspoon at the helm on the big screen back in 2001, but did you know it was based on author Amanda Brown's own experiences? She was a blonde who went to law school and decided on the location due to its proximity to a mall...

In the screen and musical version, protagonist Elle Woods applies to Harvard Law School to follow the love of her life and to proof to him that she's not just a pink-clad bubbly blonde. She can be the serious and smart wife he says he needs by his side to make his career dreams a reality, and her admission into Harvard is the first step to proving her point.

However, getting into Law School turns out to have been the easy part. Once there Elle has to focus her unrelenting perseverance not only on winning Warner back, but also on consistently convincing her new classmates, professors and – ultimately – herself that she does belong.

Legally Blonde was one of the first shows I saw in the West End after moving to London in 2010 and it's still one of my favourite memories. With Sheridan Smith as Elle, Alex Gaumond as Emmett and Peter Davidson as Professor Callahan, the current touring cast had a lot to live up to but man did they smash it. Whether you have seen the show before or you unfortunately missed out during the West End run, this is one UK tour that you must check out!

UK Eurovision contestant Lucie Jones has completely transformed from the hard-edged Maureen she played in Rent (the last show I saw her in), into the over the top bubbly Elle – and she was sensational. I already knew she had fantastic vocals, but her impersonation of the stereotypical blonde persona was absolutely on point. And as the tour du force Elle, she was hilarious and inspirational in equal measure.


Photo credit: Robert Workman

It took me a few scenes to warm up to David Barrett's slightly distanced Emmett, but before I knew it he had become the caring friend with a chip on his shoulder who harbours a crush on Elle that I know and love. There were a few moments in particular he channeled Christian Borle, who originated the role of Emmett on Broadway, which was a delightful flash from the past. The inspiring and sweet Chip On My Shoulder has always been one of my favourite songs in the show and he did the 'little miss Woods, Elle' more than justice.

Hairdresser Paulette is another one of Elle's new friends in Cambridge, and while her storyline doesn't necessarily add to the blonde-in-law-school one, she's such a fab character that doesn't matter at all. While I'm not a fan of casting TV-actors in UK tours just to bring in the buzz, EastEnders' Rita Simons was fantastic as Paulette and a very good choice for the role indeed; she was feisty, fun and those vocals! Special mention must also go to long-legged Ben Harlow as her love interest Kyle who has one of the most hilarious scenes of the show and he performed it with gusto. 

While the Legally Blonde film was already heartwarming and delightful, under the direction of Broadway choreographer Jerry Mitchell and with a book by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin, the musical adaptation takes the story to a whole new stagey level. There are countless catchy tunes, from Positive and Ireland to, of course, Legally Blonde and Ohmigod You Guys. And the choreography, sets and costumes are as colourful and over the top as you'd hope and expect from a hoot-a-minute-musical.

Legally Blonde The Musical is first and foremost a lot of fun with a fantastic soundtrack and staging performed brilliantly by everyone in the cast. It's hard not to 'ohmigod' along with Elle and her Delta Nu girls over Warner and Emmett, but what takes this show to a whole new level is the inspirational message at its core. The musical is filled with girl power and Elle's stubborn determination to make a difference is a fantastic motivation for anyone to make their dreams come true too, regardless of what they are. Also, Emmett 😍


Legally Blonde The Musical is playing at New Wimbledon Theatre in London until Saturday 23 June 2018, after which it'll go to the Palace Theatre in Manchester from 25 until 30 June 2018. Book your tickets here.


🎵 Listening to: Legally Blonde The Musical – Chip On My Shoulder


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