Lucie Jones (Eurovision UK representative 2017, Les Misérables, We Will Rock You) who plays Elle Woods is joined by cast members Rita Simons (Eastenders) playing Paulette and Bill Ward (Emmerdale, Coronation Street) as Professor Callahan in the Marlowe Theatre’s current production of Legally Blonde.
With a cast absolutely full of energy, despite their long-running show, this production is an exciting night with many laughs. The Malibu Barbie girl who turns her life around and becomes a legal sensation is a well-beloved story which translates well into the musical genre. Receiving a well-deserved standing ovation, the first night of this musical at the Marlowe Theatre was a huge success.
One of the strongest points of this production is its comedy. Without taking itself too seriously, the musical manages to still pack an emotion punch. It even promotes a feminist message, that girls need to stick together and can do anything they put their minds to. Jones shone as the lead, with perfect comedic timing throughout. However, the feisty and endearing Paulette holds her own and brings many of the laughs. Simons, speaking of her character, said that her favourite aspect is “the fact that she’s comedy and I get to flex my comedy muscles.”
The musical numbers are mostly animated and lively, with the exception of a few slower ballads which provide a change of pace. The Greek chorus deliver many enthusiastic renditions, but the strongest performances come from Jones, Simon and Laura Harrison (Blood Brothers) who plays Vivienne.
Aside from the songs, there are some changes from the film, including the elimination of Professor Stromwell. The part she plays in the film is instead given to other characters, allowing them to be more developed as a result. A particularly memorable moment was after the song ‘Gay or European’, when the characters all waved Pride flags.
Of course, the star of the show is the tiny chihuahua Bruiser, although the boxer who plays Paulette’s dog Rufus is a welcome addition, too. Despite clearly not wanting to be on stage and trying to run away, the cast did a fantastic job of keeping in character and playing off their fellow animal actors.
Both fans of the film and new-comers to the world of Elle Woods will love this pink-fuelled musical and fall in love with Elle all over again.
Legally Blonde is on at the Marlowe from Tuesday 20th to Saturday 24th March. Tickets can be purchased at: https://marlowetheatre.com/shows/legally-blonde/.