Director and Choreographer: Jerry Mitchell
Music and Lyrics: Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin
Musical Director: Peter White
Based on the novel Legally Blonde: Amanda Brown
Reviewer: Liza Kyle
The Public Reviews Rating:
OMIGOD you guys, you just totally have to go see this!! If you think the film from 2001 isn’t your bag of candyfloss fear not, the musical stage show is infinitely more enjoyable. And if you DID enjoy the film, then you really are in for a candy coated treat.
Legally Blonde sees our heroine Elle Woods (Faye Brookes) embark on her pink-tastic journey from UCLA to Harvard Law School. Although she demonstrates early on that she is nobody’s fool, Elle is perfectly at home as the fraternity sweetheart and President of the Delta Nu Sorority with her perfect Homecoming King boyfriend Warner Huntingdon the Third (Gareth Gates). However, Elle’s fairy-tale happy ending comes crashing down around her blonde locks when Warner decides she is too low rent and isn’t part of his planned rise to the top of the White House, deeming Elle to be more ‘Marilyn than Jackie’.
Love-struck Elle embarks on a mission to prove her worth and win back her man by enrolling on the same course as him at Harvard Law School where she is automatically ridiculed by the Elite Ivy League snobs. However, despite her love of shopping, fashion, and make-up, Elle proves that she is as clever and compassionate as she is beautiful and (naturally) blonde.
You will totally love this funny, intelligent and uplifting show. Its tongue remains firmly in cheek throughout and ensures the audience has a beaming white smile from start to finish. Faye Brookes is nothing short of phenomenal and I really am hard pushed to think of a time where I’ve seen a performer better placed in a role. It could be easy for some to dismiss Elle as a vacuous airhead but Brookes ensures that the character’s wit, charm, warmth and intelligence are effortlessly conveyed from the very start.
The two leading men, Warner (Gareth Gates) and Emmett (Andy Rees standing in for Iwan Lewis) both provide oodles of charisma and chemistry; Kyle (Lewis Griffiths), the UPS guy delivers more laughs than packages; and Carlos and Nikos (Antony Hewitt and Zak Nemorin) bring the house down with what is definitely my favourite scene of the show. In a hugely talented cast of women, it’s hard to give special mentions to all those who deserve them, but I shall forever be in awe of Brooke Wyndham (Hannah Grover) and her ability to rope-skip, dance, and sing flawlessly all at the same time. Throughout the whole show the cast are provided with some outstanding choreography (Jerry Mitchell) and absolutely do it justice.
This isn’t a frothy story about transformation and ‘finding yourself’ because Elle is unfaltering throughout and always stays true to her beliefs and to those around her. And this is where the real beauty of the show lies. Beneath the fluffy façade, there’s an invitation for us to challenge those assumptions that are made on appearance alone. It’s about confidence, solidarity, integrity and belief – not only in others, but in yourself. Hang on though don’t worry, there’s nothing ‘touchy-feely’ about this like you might expect from a Malibu calendar girl with a love of small dogs in bags. It’s just unashamedly frivolous and totally awesome.
Runs until 8th September 2012