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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

REVIEW: Legally Blonde at New Victoria Theatre, Woking

If you’ve not seen the classic chick-flick film Legally Blonde, starring Reese Witherspoon, where have you been since 2001? Elle Woods, the chihuahua loving sorority sweetheart takes it upon herself to follow the love of her life, Warner, to Harvard Law School to prove to him that being blonde does not mean she’s not “serious” or “a Marilyn, not a Jackie”. It’s light-hearted yet deeply inspiring for girls everywhere who have ever wanted to prove someone wrong. 

After a successful run on Broadway, then at London’s Savoy Theatre starring Sheridan Smith and a stint at Leicester Curve last year, this UK tour was eagerly anticipated: starring Lucie Jones as Elle Woods, Rita Simmons as Paulette and Bill Ward as Professor Callahan. This is the fourth version of the stage show I’ve seen in the last 18 months, so my expectations were high. 

At Woking’s press night performance, due to illness, Lucie Jones was absent but we were treated to a debut performance as Elle from understudy Rebecca Stenhouse. I love seeing understudies have their opportunity to shine and when it comes to debuts, the atmosphere surrounding them is unique and adds an indescribable excitement to the evening which can be felt from the stage. Rebecca Stenhouse was remarkable - truly effortless as Elle. In a role which commands more stage-time than Mama Rose in Gypsy, she was energetic, warm and lovable from the offset and lit up the stage throughout. Brava, Diva!

Friday, 22 September 2017

REVIEW: Legally Blonde at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley

OMIGOD OMIGOD YOU GUYS! Lucie Jones should win a prize for staring as Elle Woods in the National Tour of Legally Blonde: written by Heather Hatch and music from the man who brought us Batboy and Heathers, Laurence O’Keefe. The energy in the theatre tonight was electric with what was sure to be a high octane journey through Harvard Law School, I was wearing pink and ready to click along with the sorority girls of UCLA’s Delta Nu. 

From the get go the energy bar is set pretty high, girls riding on spin bikes and talking on the phone (Pre-emptively) celebrating Elle Woods and Warner Huntingdon the Thirds’ engagement. Which quickly spirals down hill when he breaks up with her. This set her on a new path, one that will challenge her Disney expectation of the power of love. Through trials (excuse the pun) and tribulations she realises it’s actually a good thing she is doing, practicing law and becomes the serious type of girl Warner laments about at the beginning of the first act. By the end there is cheering, and whooping and a mega mix (why?). Directed and choreographed by Anthony Williams the the use of set is very effective yet minimalistic, just what you need for a tour. 
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