Adapted from the smash hit film, Legally Blonde the Musical follows the story of Elle Woods, a blonde bombshell and sorority girl who is devastated when her college boyfriend dumps her for a more intellectual model. Rather than drowning her sorrows with a shopping binge, Elle chooses to swap credit cards for textbooks and follows him all the way to Harvard Law School to prove her worth. However, Elle unexpectedly finds herself on her own empowering journey of self-discovery and true love, meeting a kooky manicurist, hunky delivery man, stylish chihuahua and murderous exercise video legend along the way!
Legally Blonde transferred from Broadway to take up a run at the Savoy Theatre in London in 2009, where it was met with a warm reception from both the critics and the public for its uncompromising, heartwarming and delightfully ditzy take on female empowerment. The show was nominated for three Tony Awards in its first year, winning the award for Best New Musical, and took a staggering £2million in advance ticket sales before the first performances had begun. The entire production was directed and choregraphed by Jerry Mitchell, the figure behind previous theatre hits such as Hairspray, The Rocky Horror Show and La Cage Aux Folles, and featured a fantastic original score including songs such as ‘Omigod You Guys’, ‘Take It Like A Man’ and ‘Bend and Snap’.
Legally Blonde had an array of fantastic West End performers in the title roles since opening in 2009, including Sheridan Smith, Jill Halfpenny, Duncan James and Carley Stenson.
“Legally Blonde is a winner. It’s energetic and amusing, with a sprightly sense of pace, and all but the most flinty-hearted theatregoers will leave it flushed with delight.”
Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard
“OMIGOD! I tried, I really tried to hate this show, but resistance is futile. It’s going to be a huge hit and if you’re a chap, your wife or girlfriend is almost certain to drag you along. You might as well give in gracefully now.”
Charles Spencer, The Telegraph
“Let’s relish the support both of a fake-Greek chorus dressed as cheerleaders and of two cute, unnaturally obedient dogs. Let’s agree that Legally Blonde is, well, fun.”
Benedict Nightingale, The Times
Want to know what the show was like? We’ve selected some of the best videos online to help you get a feel for the musical!
Watch the latest official trailer:
See what the celebrities thought at the 2010 media night:
Legally Blonde the Musical has been playing to packed audiences of mostly young females for three years at the Savoy Theatre in London, proving that a cheesy, pink and ‘blonde’ show can have longevity on the West End stage. Its original cast of Sheridan Smith and Duncan James may have moved on from the heart-warming and totally unrealistic story, but theatre lovers clearly haven’t.
The full and responsive audience clearly enjoyed the tale of home-coming queen Elle Woods, who sets out to become ‘serious’ in order to win back her ex, Warner, by studying the same course as him at college. It isn’t just any course at any college. It is law at Harvard. It’s anyone’s guess how flouncy, ditzy Elle could have got into Harvard in real life, but this isn’t real life, it is much more fun than that, and Legally Blonde ultimately shows that a person should not be judged on appearance as Elle sets out to prove she is far more than just a dumb blonde.
The lead is played by Carley Stenson, most known for playing Steph Cunningham in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks. Carley possessed limitless energy and oomph for someone who is on stage for nearly the whole duration of the show, singing 16 of the 18 songs. Her American accent was spot-on without being whiney at all and she looked more like the original character, played by Reese Witherspoon in the 2001 film of the same name, than the original West End casting of Elle, Sheridan Smith. Warner Huntington III is usually played by ex-Emmerdale actor Ben Freeman, but last night understudy Ross Hunter took over the role. He was arrogant and snooty as Warner should be, and impressed audience members. The role of Paulette, beautician and one of Elle’s only friends, is always a popular character, and got the biggest cheers of the night. Previously played by Jill Halfpenny and then later, Denise Van Outen, she is now performed by Natalie Casey. Natalie was an original character in Hollyoaks and has also acted in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.
One of the highlights of the show was the frivolous “Gay or European” song towards the end which had the whole audience laughing along. Another highlight was the UPS guy who spontaneously breaks out into an Irish jig whilst trying to catch Paulette’s attention. Both of these bits are not included in the film version, and had me laughing more than any other point during the show.
All in all, Legally Blonde is still going strong at the Savoy after several cast changes, but there seems to be a fresh approach from the current cast. They may not be as well-known as some of the actors who have performed previously in the musical, but they perform just as well with lots of energy and excitement. The show is not to be taken seriously, yet it is heart-warming with a fun score with tunes that tend to stick in your head for a long time (or maybe that’s just me?!). Lovers of the movie will not be disappointed as for the most part, it stuck to the Hollywood version, with some of the exact same dialogue. I would tell anyone to see Legally Blonde if they are looking for an entertaining, light-hearted and most of all, fun show.
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Did you see Legally Blonde the Musical? Did it leave you thinking ‘Omigod!’ or were you pleasantly surprised at how the movie transferred to the stage? Add your reviews and comments to the box below!