Exuberant and upbeat, Legally Blonde is very well-suited to the young and dynamic cast of Woodhouse Musical Theatre Company, writes Rowena Burton.
The musical is a romcom based on Amanda Brown’s novel and Robert Luketic’s film.
Seemingly vacuous blonde Elle swaps college sorority for law school in an attempt to win back her boyfriend. A cast of 33 sings and dances its way through a law case to aid Elle’s journey to happiness and self-knowledge. The ending may not be what you expect but the fun is accompanied by more serious messages: don’t stereotype, be yourself and be resilient.
There are stand-out solo performances but the whole ensemble, plus set and wardrobe,contribute to this high energy and perfectly pink production – the stage fizzes with life throughout. The quick, slick scene changes and choreography, courtesy of Adele Taylor, contribute to the fast-paced route to happy-ever-after with a girl-power twist.
There is always pink somewhere on the set in this production, even at Harvard Law School, reminding the audience that Elle’s true nature will triumph eventually. It is unclear whether the band are wearing pink, as they are hidden from view, but they are integral to the show and comment on the stage action, rather like the fluffy and delightful Greek Chorus in Elle’s head. The musicians, led by Mark Breen, play with verve and panache. Over amplification marred the diction at the beginning, but this improved as the night progressed.
Danielle Williams is perfectly cast as the sweet, gorgeous, sassy Elle – definitely heroine material. If she’s the heroine, Emmett, played by Joe Medlock is the real hero.
Once suited and booted, he looks like a young Christopher Reeve and is allowed to release his inner superman in the second act.
Helen Woodhead’s Paulette is a scene stealer, playing the role with warmth, humour and a strong singing voice.
Neil Broadbent, as Callahan, is unnervingly convincing as a man abusing his powerful status.
Sonya Louise Morris as Brooke must be the fittest cast member as she sings, skips and dances simultaneously, looking and sounding every inch the Exercise Queen.
Scott Armstrong as Warner and Laura Crowther as Vivienne are impressive, as are the other principals. Even minor parts have the chance to shine; Martin Lyttle brings the house down every time he swaggers on stage oozing testosterone. The dogs are cute and elicit an “Ah” whenever they appear, but the humans steal the show.
Some of the big numbers in the second act are particularly funny and well-directed by Rebecca Cawthra and Scott Armstrong. If you want a reason to reverse Brexit, just watch “Gay or European”.
Get a ticket before it’s too late!
The show will be at the LBT until Saturday (March 26) with performances each evening at 7.30pm and a Saturday matinee at 2.15pm.
It’s nearly a sell-out and remaining tickets start at £12.