Churchill Theatre, Bromley – until 23 September 2017
Pink, energetic and a whole load of fun, the current tour of Legally Blonde is a joyous way to spend a carefree few hours at the theatre. It tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who hatches a plan to get into Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner who would rather marry someone “serious”. Once there Elle realises she’s more than just the dumb blonde she’s been brought up to be and, joined by her Greek chorus and adorable dog Bruiser, she turns the world of law upside down.
Lucie Jones is a complete triumph as Elle. Having seen her in Les Mis, a solo concert and Rent, I was looking forward to seeing how she’d take on the role of Elle and she just does it wonderfully. Her comedic timing is completely perfect, bringing laughs in left, right and centre with her various one liners, squeals and movements. Lucie’s voice is as clear as a bell, her beautiful tone rings out on every word and she is just outstanding from start to end.
Alongside Lucie is David Barrett as the hard-working, slightly dowdy, Emmett. They have a wonderful chemistry and bounce off each other to create a believable blooming relationship. David has a lovely voice and he perfectly balances his calm and collected self with Elle’s hyperactivity. Liam Doyle and Laura Harrison take on the roles of Warner and Vivienne well, both with lovely voices and good characterisation to show their development throughout. The audience were drawn Rita Simmons as Paulette as she poured her heart out at her first meeting with Elle; she radiated warmth and nailed the comedic role.
The ensemble are great and full of energy, especially during Whipped into Shape and Gay or European? both or which were stand outs of the show with the UV skipping ropes in Whipped being particularly effective. I do feel that the Greek chorus could have been developed a little more with extra emphasis on the personality of each member, but their vocals were spot on and I loved their costumes, especially their Heathers-esque court room attire.
The choreography worked well with the piece and was energetic and fun enough to keep the momentum up throughout. The movement in Gay of European? was especially enjoyable to watch and the build throughout the piece was fab. The cheer section in What You Want could definitely be developed more to actually include cheer moves and give it more power but it was by no means unenjoyable.
I have a few reservations with the costumes purely from a picky point of view, such as Vivienne’s heels being too high to fit with the frumpy look she is supposed to have and Elle’s final court room suit just not having enough oomph and again being a little old-fashioned. Some of the costumes could have been updated to make them look less dated but I did enjoy the various changes and the various shades of pink!
The megamix at the end was over the top and quite unnecessary as, in my opinion it somewhat cheapens the production but it did work well to get everyone clapping along and smiling their way out of the auditorium and I certainly left feeling warm and joyful.
Overall this is a really enjoyable production. It’s the perfect mix of lightheartedness and a little drama, it doesn’t claim to be anything it’s not and it’s the ideal show for a girls night out. Charming and funny it reminds us that being yourself is the most important thing and will definitely leave you wanting to channel your inner Elle… I’m finding pink, sparkly clothes this minute!