Festival Theatre Edinburgh (venue)
27 November 2017 (released)
29 November 2017
Meet Elle Woods, the not so dizzy blonde whose signature colour is pink and whose beloved pet Chihuahua ‘Bruiser’ should be referred to as family… as opposed to dog. When Elle decides to wave her rose-tint world goodbye and study law at Harvard University in order to win back the love of her life it results in often hilarious consequences – and this new and fun-filled musical starring Lucie Jones in the lead role.
Delta Nu sorority girl Elle Woods (Lucie Jones) is excited and even more bubbly than usual for she is about to get engaged to long-time sweetheart Warner Huntington III (Liam Doyle), or so she thinks. Beaming with joy, Elle and some of the other sorority girls dance about thrilled and Elle heads to a store to pick the ‘perfect’ dress for the occasion. That very evening, Warner and Elle sit in a restaurant over two glasses of sparklies but instead of proposing to her, Warner reveals his plans of studying law at the renowned Harvard University and a serious law student requires a ‘Serious’ girlfriend. With her blonde mane and her penchant for all shades pink, Elle is obviously no longer the right candidate and the evening ends in heartbreak for her… Next thing, she turns up at the Harvard Admission Office (gang of colourful cheerleaders in tow) where, contrary to all expectations, she is accepted as a fellow law student as – much to the chagrin of Warner who looks upon her as an embarrassment. Elle is of course hell-bent to win back her man, and if it means to put up with her snobby classmates and Professor Callahan (Bill Ward) – a shark among legal sharks who is always out for blood. Adding to Elle’s frustration is Vivienne Kensington (Laura Harrison), the wealthy and snobbiest female law student of them all and Warner’s new girlfriend! Elle is devastated until the ‘three good sisters’ appear und tell her to stay ‘Positive’. A well-meant piece of advice that Elle takes to heart because despite the odds she is adamant to get Warner back.
Back in class, Elle is subject to humiliation thanks to her garish pink outfits and general airhead appearance, however, she finds a friend and helper in law teaching assistant Emmett Forrest (David Barrett) who eventually comes to the conclusion that Elle blocks her own success to succeed at Harvard as she is simply too obsessed with the idea of winning Warner back. Elle, on the other hand, is convinced that all she needs to do for Warner to take her serious is going from blonde to brunette and heads to a hair salon in which she meets spunky hair stylist Paulette Bonafonté (Rita Simons) who has her own share of domestic troubles but swears by new age music and dreaming of Ireland to cheer her up. In the salon, Elle happens to bump into Vivienne who cunningly invites her to a prestigious costume party. Overjoyed at finally being accepted, Elle turns up dressed as a Playboy Bunny, only to realise the party (Warner is one of the guests) is a very swell and elegantly sober affair… yes, mean and arrogant bitch Vivienne has a laugh at Elle’s expense. Once again ashamed of Elle, Warner proposes to Vivienne. While things seem on the up for hair stylist Paulette after beefy UPS delivery man Lowell (Ben Harlow) turns up in the salon, Elle almost gives up on things – blind to the fact that Emmett could be the next boyfriend…
Fate turns when Professor Callahan grabs Elle and forcefully kisses her, her reaction prompts him to dismiss her from Harvard. But Elle has one bing trump card up her sleeve, which is the chance to defend fitness queen Brooke Wyndham (Helen Petrovna) who stands accused of murdering her billionaire husband. Thanks to Elle’s unique charm and her gut instinct for solving cases she soon finds herself re-installed and three years on ends up the valedictorian of her class. Warner gets his much deserved come-uppance when Vivienne dumps him, Paulette gets her UPS delivery man (who turns out to be Irish!) and Elle finally realises that Emmett is the man who will make her happy… and that being LEGALLY BLONDE isn’t a bad thing after all!
This is a rip-roaring production with incredible dance numbers (watch Brooke Wyndham sing and working the skipping rope at the same time!), plenty of humour (‘There! Right There! Is he gay or is he European?’), and a hilarious Oirish jig interlude. The performances are terrific throughout and one can only guess the stamina required. Leading lady Lucie Jones, with her blonde wig, resembles Reese Witherspoon from the 2001 film version and Rita Simons is one hell of a belter whose antics – combined with Mr. UPS, bring the house down. Sets are very cleverly constructed and suitably colourful in Elle’s world and academic in the distinguished world of Harvard Law. This is fun for all the family and yes, the production even has to canine stars!
LEGALLY BLONDE runs at the Festival Theatre until December 2nd.