Omigod, omigod you guys. Last night I like totally saw Legally Blonde The Musical and it was, like, totally… totally…
For those who missed this sleepover classic first time on screen, the tale is simple, inspiring and fabulously absurd. It begins with Elle Woods (Faye Brookes), being unexpectedly and unceremoniously dumped by her long-time boyfriend Warner (Gareth Gates) for being more of a ‘Marilyn’ than a ‘Jackie’. Basically for being, yes, blonde.
Warner is looking for serious. Warner is going to law school.
Egged on by her fellow sorority sisters, a study montage ensues. The show then sees Elle heading to Harvard where her and her Prada-bag-sized pooch are faced with an eclectic mix of Ivy League snobs: eco-warriors, Fulbright scholars and Indian princes – none of whom expect our perky heroine to succeed.
This musical has what comic Miranda Hart describes in the programme as ‘camp wondrousness’; the caricatures are broad, the scenery bright and the smiles brighter. Everything dazzles, particularly Faye Brookes in the lead. Brookes gives a marvellously physical performance, unafraid to exaggerate and play the fool to Iwan Lewis' comparatively sober performance of lawyer / love-interest Emmett. Brookes is supported by a finger-clicking, hair-swishing chorus made up of the girls who, at school at least, you just loved to hate. Except that in this show you just love them, cheerleader get-up and all.
The atmosphere in the New Theatre was one of a polished pantomime - the audience's cooing for former Pop Idol Gareth Gates trumped only by that for the dogs, and maybe the UPS guy and his shorts. His very
On the surface this musical may seem sparkly, frothy and superficial - and it is - but much like one of the many designer label frocks Elle sports in the production, it is also dazzlingly well-made and will I think be a repeat wear (the Playboy bunny outfit not withstanding). This is Legally Blonde's first tour of the UK. I very much doubt it will be its last.
Ash Bond (DI Reviewer), 20/07/12
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Photos by Johan Persson
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