EastEnders’ Rita Simon, Lucie Jones, who is representing the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Never Give Up On You’ on Saturday 13 May, and Bill Ward, star of Coronation Street and Emmerdale are to star in a major new UK tour of the Broadway and West End musical Legally Blonde The Musical, which launches from Bromley’s Churchill Theatre on 18 September 2017.
Legally Blonde The Musical also has two dogs in the cast, a Chihuahua called Bruiser and another called Rufus, a big, brutish, dog that only its mother could love! Bruiser is already cast and will be on the road but producers have decided to hold auditions for ‘Rufus’ in every town and city on the tour – more details to follow.
Legally Blonde The Musical is an all singing, all dancing romantic comedy, a fun-filled, feel-good pink fest. College sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods, doesn’t take no for an answer. When her boyfriend dumps her for someone more serious, Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books and heads for Harvard Law Schoiol. Along the way, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style.
Based on the Reese Witherspoon film, Legally Blonde The Musical earned seven Tony nominations and 10 Drama Desk Award nominations during its Broadway run. In the UK it was nominated for 5 Laurence Olivier Awards winning 3 including Best New Musical, and was nominated for 8 Whatsonstage Awards winning 4 including Best Musical.
Legally Blonde The Musical will open at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley (18-23 September 2017) then tour the UK and Ireland until June 2018, visiting High Wycombe Swan, Bristol Hippodrome, Woking New Victoria, Northampton Derngate, Rhyl Pavilion, Sheffield Lyceum, Wolverhampton Grand Southampton Mayflower, Cardiff New Theatre Edinburgh Festival Theatre. After a Christmas break, the tour starts again at Belfast Grand Opera House on 26 February, 2018, Dublin Bord Gais, Stoke Regent Theatre, Canterbury Marlowe Theatre, Norwich Theatre Royal, Leeds Grand Theatre, Blackpool Grand Theatre, Sunderland Empire, Glasgow Kings Theatre, Aberdeen His Majesty’s, Inverness Eden Court, Nottingham Theatre Royal, Birmingham Alexandra Theatre, Salford Lowry, Liverpool Empire, Brighton Theatre Royal, Wimbledon New Theatre.
Legally Blonde The Musical has music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and book by Heather Hach, based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the MGM motion picture. The production is directed and choreographed by Anthony Williams, with co-choreographer Dean Street and Musical Supervisor and Musical Director James McCullough. The tour is produced by Martin Dodd for UK Productions Ltd.
Also in the cast are: David Barrett (Emmett), Liam Doyle (Warner), Laura Harrison (Vivienne), Helen Petrovna (Brooke), Ben Harlow (Kyle), Nancy Hill (Enid), Rebecca Stenhouse (Margot), Delycia Belgrave (Pilar), Rachel Grundy (Serena), Lucyelle Cliffe (Elle’s Mom), Rosie Needham (Kate Chutney), Alexandra Wright (Leilana), Sally Frith (Gaelen), Mark Peachey (Elle’s Dad/Winthrop/Dewey), Michael Hamway (Aaron), Felipe Bejarano (Sundeep/Nikos), Brett Shiels (Grand Master Chad), Connor Collins (Carlos), Emma Prosser (Swing), Craig Tyler (Swing) and Bruisey (Bruiser).
Further casting is to be announced.
Rita Simons (Paulette Bonafonte) is best known for playing Roxy Mitchell in BBC’s EastEnders for which she has won numerous awards and is one of Britain’s best loved actresses. She won Most Popular Newcomer at the National Television Awards and other awards and nominations include Best Newcomer at the Digital Spy Soap Awards, Best Onscreen Partnership for her character partnership with Ronnie Mitchell played by Samantha Womack, Best Newcomer at the TV Now Awards, a nomination for Best Newcomer at the 2008 British Soap Awards and Best Newcomer at the 2008 Inside Soap Awards. Rita has also appeared on TV in Mile High as Hannah, Dream Team as Julie and London’s Burning. In Spring 2012, Rita was the subject of a major documentary film Rita Simons: My Daughter, Deafness and Me made by Leopard Films for BBC1. Rita actively supports the charity RNID.
Lucie Jones (Elle Woods) is currently playing Maureen in the 20th anniversary UK tour of Rent. Her previous theatre credits include: Elle Woods in Legally Blonde (Leicester Curve); Molly in Ghost (Asian Tour); Victoria in American Psycho (The Almeida); Meatloaf in We Will Rock You (International Tour); Kelly Byrne in The Prodigals (Edinburgh Festival); Cosette in Les Miserables (Queens Theatre, West End and O2 Arena). Her TV acting credits includes: Melody Carver in Midsomer Murders (ITV); Louise in The Sarah Jane Adventures (BBC). Lucie was a finalist in the 2009 series of The X Factor.
Bill Ward (Professor Callahan) is best known for his work on two of the country’s leading soaps. He has just finished 3 years in Emmerdale, playing farmer James Barton (Ross, Pete and Finn’s Dad) for over 300 episodes, who met a gruesome, death at the hands of his emotionally volatile partner, Emma, in one of the biggest storylines of the year. Previously, he played the builder Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street, also for 300 episodes, who was murdered by his emotionally volatile partner, Tracy Barlow, in one of the soap’s biggest storylines of the year. In addition to his many and varied TV and film credits Bill is no stranger to the stage and has worked on everything from Sophocles to The Spice Girls at Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange, Northern Stage, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, and The National Theatre Studio amongst others. He’s played Prospero in The Tempest in Guildford, Lancelot in Spamalot in the West End, and Kevin the Gnome in a muddy field in Glastonbury.
UK Productions Ltd have been producing musicals, plays and pantomimes for over 22 years nationally, internationally and in the West End. In addition to Legally Blonde the Musical Martin Dodd is currently producing The Kite Runner in the West End and on tour, and for children national tours of CBBC’s Dick & Dom Live! and CBeebies Chris & Pui. Martin is also responsible for 11 pantomimes nationwide every Christmas season.