Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (venue)
25 May 2022 (released)
26 May 2022
From the opening line of 'Omigod You Guys' you know that this new interpretation of Legally Blonde looks to be different. Then when Elle's toy dog Bruiser, played with glee by the wonderfully supple Liam McEvoy, crawls from under the stage in his pooch body suit and pink harness you know it's definitely different.
Lucy Moss has taken a risk updating a show that already has a cult following, judging by the amount of shocking pink dotted through-out the audience. This show out pinks in every way. She has propelled it into the 2020's where Harvard is a much more diverse and multicultural place to discover yourself, your worth and of course study law. And it is wonderful to see such true sense of youthful energy, diversity and pure sass throughout the show
Courtney Bowman as Elle is perfect in the role. She is chocked full of sass and has a truly wonderful voice that fills the park with crystal clear vocals. Her portrayal makes you forget the other 'Elles' as she makes the part her own. Also vocally excellent is Nadine Higgin as Paulette, Elle's Hairdresser and confidante, taking delight in explaining her lineage in the wonderful musical number 'Ireland'
As the men in Elle's life Michael Ahomka-Lindsay as Emmet, Alistair Toovey as Warner are strong but somewhat overshadowed by the powerhouse that is Courtney Bowman.
Eugene McCoy as Callahan, the head of Law at Harvard brings a more youthful and engaging aspect to the role like a Billy Flynn from Chicago. Making the moment he hits on Elle all the more sickening.
The choreography and musical staging by Ellen Kane is wildly impressive, none more so, than the skipping rope routine that opens Act Two led by the athletic Lauren Drew as the accused Brooke. You are almost holding your breath as the skipping ropes reach full velocity.
This is a whirlwind of a show where all the classic musical numbers come thick and fast and the pace is kept up through-out, although the slightly clunky and dominating set design seemed at times to slow that pace and prove more of a distraction than it should.
There is undoubtedly some of subtlety of the story glossed over in favour of bringing out the humour and party atmosphere of this Gen X version. Judging by the jubilation of the audience this is going to be a sure fire 'Positive' hit and 'So Much Better' for its new inclusive message