This very pink and hilarious show is where we see Miss Elle Woods develop from a seemingly ditsy, ‘typical’ blonde into a professional, successful and somewhat lucky lawyer who pushes the boundaries of not just gender but social acceptance.
The production features an all-star cast with familiar faces from British television, including EastEnders star Rita Simons, who plays stylist Paulette, and Bill Ward, famously known for his roles in both Emmerdale and Coronation Street, who plays Professor Callahan. Our leading lady, however, is performed by a British idol whose repertoire includes making it to the final of X Factor in 2009 and representing the UK at Eurovision in 2017; Lucie Jones appears in glamorous pink as Miss Elle Woods.
The true star of the show, however, was a local now-turned celebrity from Hainford, Winston. In his debut performance, he stole the show and won over the audience with a star-studded performance as Rufus, Paulette’s trusted four-legged friend. Our local hero, a 4-year-old Bulldog, beat out 7 other local dogs and has now won over the hearts of the audience with his consistent obedience and cuteness.
The performance as a whole had all the glitz and glam you’d expect from a Broadway production, coated in uncontrollable amounts of pink. The live band guided us through an exciting soundtrack, partnered with slick set and costume changes which aided the fast-paced comedy. What really stood out was the level of pizzazz that was accommodated. With this much pink, the performance could easily come across as tacky or tasteless. However, there is nothing but glamour and class present in Miss Woods’ hyperreality as we join her on the journey.
The show didn’t finish without its faux pas, since Emmett, one of the leading male characters, suffered problems with his microphone, which were however resolved by his interpreter, David Barrett, not allowing it to affect his performance. This coupled with fans on stage drowning out some of the dialogue – some sloppy ‘flying’ of sets is always a shame when possibly-honest accidents affect an otherwise slick and intricate show.
The stage production was far more immersive than that of the movie. We were continuously drawn into the drama through an inclusive ensemble that increased the chemistry between the cast and their presence on stage. Elle’s entourage often appearing as her, imaginary, “Greek chorus” supporting her on her journey. The unsung hero of the ensemble (and possibly the show) was Michael Hamway who, particularly in the courtroom, delivered a stellar performance.
As with the movie, following an emotional journey, we arrived at graduation, which was a seemingly ‘proper’ affair, with the absence of any pink – or so we thought. Although the bright hyperreality had faded throughout the second act as Miss Woods became a ‘more serious’ lawyer and a strong, independent woman, we were treated to a final explosion of bright pink for the encore!
So, the only question that remains is, when will we be able to see Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, the Musical?
Legally Blonde is being played at the Norwich Theatre Royal from Monday 26th to Saturday 31st of March.