Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Legally Blonde the Musical: Theatre Review

Legally Blonde first opened on Broadway in 2007 with a US Tour starting in 2008, It then made its way over to the West End in 2009 with a cast which included Sheridan Smith and Duncan James. The show tells the story of Elle Woods who follows her love to Harvard law school where she is put through her passes by Emmett Forest and eventually takes on a murder case and wins her man, though it wasn't the one she intentionally chased to Harvard. On the 21stJuly I went to see the show at the Savoy Theatre.I saw the show in June of last year with the Original London cast with the addition of Richard Fleeshman, since then the cast has been through multiple cast changes.
I was very impressed with the production when saw it last year, it exceeded all my expectations and I loved it.
However I feel like I was watching a different show, the sound system seemed very quiet and of poor quality while the energy levels from the majority of the cast seemed very low.

Carley Stenson was alright as Elle Woods, very watchable but she had very little depth in the role, which didn't add the spark that Elle Woods needs.
The rest of the cast were also passable, Lee Mead seemed happy with the role and I see a huge difference between his bad portrayal of Fiyero to his good portrayal of Emmett Forest. Peter Davison and Siohan Dillion also were good in their roles, but nothing special. Simon Thomas and Tamara Wall weren't performing on this day, but there was no announcement or slips in the programmes to explain this, so everyone that left thought they had been watching them when in fact they were watching Sean Mulligan and Jane McMurtie. Despite anyone notifying the audience about this cast situation, they performed brilliantly and for understudies their performances were at a higher level than the actual principles on this day.
The rest of the supporting cast members and ensemble were absolutely fantastic and definitely lifted the angry levels on stage when they were on.
But the biggest casting success in this show for me was Natalie Casey as Paulette, her comic timing was fantastic and she brought all her experience from every aspect of her career to this role.
She should have been cast as the original because her vocals, acting, mannerisms and everything about her portrayal of the role were perfect!
The story is beautiful with a great score by Laurence O'Keefe, wonderful direction and chorography by Jerry Mitchell and a witty book by Heather Mach.
This musical has proved its success in London and I'm sure will continue to do so for a while, but in my personal opinion it is getting a little tired already. Shame, because this is a good show and London loves it!

Rating: ***

Legally Blonde played at the Savoy Theatre, closing on April 7th 2012

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