The opportunity to see Legally Blonde The Musical at the New Theatre Cardiff could not be overlooked. It is one of the few films that I can just watch, over and over. There is so much in not under-estimating yourself; appreciating everyone’s strengths and in all that you do keeping hold of your values. Which meant I decided to take the risk and invite my 8 yo. It was a great way to help her appreciate this- in a way which is fun and, of course, pink.
The musical is everything you could hope it would be. Continuing the feel-good, positivity, and ‘go-girl’ themes, with the addition of music and song. This 2017 production has spectacular performances, vocal talent and believable characters are a given. Through the performances the themes and story maintained pace and empathy on stage.
Anyone who’s a fan of the film- and there seems quite a cult following for the film and the musical in Cardiff- will be the familiar with the story of Elle Woods. Malibu sorority girl dropped by her boyfriend for not being enough embarks on a journey to win him back. Pursuing him into Harvard Law School, the story shows Elle learning more about herself. Not only through the Law as she becomes a fully fledged Lawyer but in finding a better kind of love.As Elle, Lucie Jones is outstanding. Bringing a kookiness and sincerity to the character with the wonderful charm in Elle which means we want her to succeed. And, of course, the voice she is most famed for completely carries us through.
Lucie brings all the bubblegum happiness of Malibu, alongside determination weighted with innocence which allows us to fall hook, line and sinker. Falling for impressive and catchy lyrics with an energy to follow Elle’s journey in love.
Helping Elle in her journey, Rita Simons takes the role of Paulette. Highly entertaining in the role with great comic timing. There was the surprise of incredible vocal which completely matched the role and made a side-kick with sass.
The cast also included Bill Ward as Professor Callahan, David Barratt as Emmett, and Liam Doyle as Warner Huntington II. All provided strong performances, creating all the elements needed to get Elle through her journey. I loved the temptation across the audience at curtain call to ‘boo’ Bill Ward, such was the conviction of this ‘baddie’. For my 8yo the comedy was the best part of the production. She adored Ben Harlow at Kyle B O’Boyle, and of course ‘Gay Or European’ which featured some fantastic choreography.
For both of us, Anthony Williams’s choreography was a highlight. With so much energy in the numbers ‘Gay Or European’ and ‘Whipped into Shape’, a spotlight is offered to fantastic routines. In this, Helen Petrovna was impressive in her vocal and physical performance.
Compared to the fantastic choreography and performances, I was surprised the movie magic wasn’t cast over costumes and set. The set felt a little ‘Barbie toy’ in clunkiness and design, and I was left questioning Elle’s outfit choices. It felt a lot more polyester than the designer labels of which the story suggests she is renowned. These are minor gripes as the stars really were shining on the performances. If you’re needing a bit of happy in your life, this is an evening well spent. A great soundtrack which leaves feet tapping, and a decent dose of earworm, Legally Blonde The Musical is as fantastic as the film. Brought together with a fantastic finale, the talent across this production doesn’t disappoint.
Legally Blonde runs at the New Theatre, Cardiff until Saturday 25th November with tickets available on 029 20 87 88 89 and via the website.
The Legally Blonde tour then takes in Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Stoke, Canterbury, Norwich, Leeds, Blackpool, Sunderland, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Nottingham, Birmingham, Salford, Liverpool, Brighton and Wimbledon.
Disclosure: We received tickets for the purpose of this review. All opinions and words contained are our own.