OMG! What a sensational musical. Legally Blonde is everything you want in an entertaining upbeat piece of musical theatre. This is definitely not the vacuous nightmare I was expecting. For those who have not read Amanda Brown’s novel or seen Reece Witherspoon’s movie, it’s the stage equivalent of witty Barbie – Life in the Dreamhouse mixed with American TV drama How to Get Away With Murder.
A warm, genuinely funny cast with fab voices and impossible bags of energy bring this life affirming story to the stage. It totally vindicates the colour pink and gives young girls a brilliant role model within a world they can relate to. The story challenges our stereotypes but also says – hey it’s OK. You can be a girl, like pink and be smart too.
Legally Blonde is a modern fairy tale about a beautiful, somewhat ditzy blonde beauty who ends up on a journey of self discovery. She finds her legal superpowers and realises that Prince Charming is not what she wanted after all. Ultimately, good triumphs over evil, in the guise of Bill Ward’s sharp yet sleazy Professor Callahan. And, there’s a happy ending for Laura Harrison’s deliciously Machiavellian Vivienne Kensington.
Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin’s music is pleasing though not hugely memorable after the show. But, the lyrics are witty and keep the audience tittering throughout. Nev Milsom’s lighting is a joy with inspired use of LED skipping ropes.
There’s a smattering of names in the cast, but ones who bring superb talent to the show. Lucie Jones was marvellous as Elle Woods. She gave us a character that could potentially have been very shallow and turned her into someone the whole audience was rooting for.
As the brassy and perennially under confident Paulette Bonafonte, Rita Simons – AKA Eastender’s Roxy Mitchell- was a musical breath of fresh air. She was funny, had a rich voice and knew exactly how to entertain the audience with her tales of Irish woe. But my big question of the night was how on earth Helen Petrovna as Brooke Wyndham managed to perform an entire routine singing and skipping without getting out of breath? What a feat.
There were so many great moments in this show. The dogs appearing on stage when they shouldn’t have, Paulette’s Irish dancing with the UPS Guy and the hilar Greek Chorus – Rachel Grundy, Delycia Belgrave and Rebecca Stenhouse. But moment of the night has to go to the hysterical Gay or European scene, which just encapsulated the show perfectly.
Legally Blonde is at The Bristol Hippodrome as part of a UK tour until Saturday 07 October 2017. This is definitely one to see, earning a well deserved standing ovation from the appreciative Bristol audience.