‘Being true to yourself never goes out of style.’
Can you believe it’s been 17 years since the film Legally Blonde was released? In 2001, Reese Witherspoon captured our hearts as ‘Elle Woods’, the ditzy sorority girl who attempts to win back her ex boyfriend by following him to Harvard and getting a law degree. 6 years later and the film was developed into a Musical, with broadway star, Laura Bell Bundy playing the title row. Since then, there have been many incarnations of this feel good musical- from an MTV recording to a West End Hit, starring Sheridan Smith.
The most recent touring cast is headed up by Lucie Jones, the 2017 UK entry for the Eurovision. She may not be the typical casting to play ‘Elle’, but Ms. Jones wins you over in the first couple of scenes with her charm and charisma. And OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, her voice is simply stunning. And she is not the only star in the cast, as she is joined by Emmerdales’ Bill Ward as ‘Professor Callaghan’ and Eastenders’ Rita Simmons as ‘Pauline Bonafonte’.
Legally Blonde is a musical in the truest sense. It’s not a play with a couple of songs. There is minimal dialogue between each number, but there’s a whole lot of singing and dancing and this gives the show great momentum. It follows the same journey as the film does, with Elle Woods transforming from a frivolous college girl into a confident and independent lawyer. While most of the songs are lighthearted and sometimes silly, they are executed with passion and precision.
One of the numbers that seriously impressed me was ‘Whipped Into Shape’ with Helen Petrovna as Brooke Wyndham. The ‘skipping rope workout whilst belting out a song’ must be seen to be believed! I also loved the new choreography in ‘Gay or European’. The ensemble are really strong and the big dance numbers are impressive. But the strength of this show lies in Ms.
Jones and her electric performance.
All in all, a wonderful touring production of West End standards to come to The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre . Do yourself a favour and get in to see it before it’s gone.
Running time 2h25m.
In the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre until Saturday March 10th.
Words by Ranae von Meding