REVIEW | Legally Blonde | UK Tour

The sparkling musical Legally Blonde showcases the epic soundtrack in a bright new production with colour, vibrancy and immense energy.

Based on the iconic film, Elle Woods is a bubbly blonde whose boyfriend Warner breaks up with her ahead of starting at Harvard law school, claiming he needs someone more serious. Heartbroken and defeated, Elle sets her mind on getting into Harvard and proving Warner wrong. She doesn’t fit in but doesn’t have to, as Harvard helps her discover who she really is.

It wouldn’t be a performance of Legally Blonde without pink and this production really doesn’t hold back. The staging is covered in pink glitter, some may argue too much, but I thought it was perfect. Although some of the transitions between scenes are weak, the set as a whole is striking and fits the show perfectly.

There is no doubt that Lucie Jones is made for the role of Elle Woods. She captures both the sweet and feisty nature of her character superbly. With sublime vocals that master every number in the show, particularly the stunning title number Legally Blonde, Jones is bursting with warmth and charm. Her excellent comedy timing appears effortless and her depiction of Elle’s manic moments are tremendously funny.

Starring as Elle’s friend Paulette, Rita Simons is remarkable as the brassy salon owner who is unlucky in love. As Elle opens up her heart to Paulette, they strike a bond and their friendship is heartwarming to watch as they spur each other on. Simons is outstandingly funny and captures the essence of the character marvelously whilst adding her own unique spin to the eccentric role.

 

 

Despite Elle’s best efforts to win back Warner, she befriends Emmett Forest who is kind to her when everybody else at Harvard refuse to associate themselves with Elle. Their friendship is touching to watch grow and David Barrett’s performance as Emmett is a real delight. The audience are rooting for Emmett, unlike Warner whose arrogance is displayed well by Liam Doyle. The self-importance of these male characters is highlighted in the dominance and aggression of Professor Callahan, played by Bill Ward, who is constantly putting Elle down. This is encouraged by Warner’s new girlfriend Vivienne, and Laura Harrison’s depiction of the prim and proper yet entirely spiteful student is faultless. Harrison’s characterisation and vocals are first-rate and she displays her versatility as her character progresses and we see a different side to her.

It’s a cheesy musical but it knows it and they play on that to create a high-spirited performance that is ridiculously fun. Whether it is pink confetti, fireworks or glow-in-the-dark skipping ropes in the Whipped Into Shape number, this UK tour are really pulling out all the stops. With the additional mega-mix at the end as cast sing and dance along to the feel-good musical numbers in pink graduation gowns, you’re guaranteed to leave with a huge grin on your face.

Legally Blonde is a joyous night out at the theatre with a beautiful story at its heart about a girl who never gives up or pretends to be someone she’s not.

★★★★

Legally Blonde is on at the Wolverhampton Grand until Saturday the 11th of November before continuing on tour across the UK.

 

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