By Poppy Bragg
Bright pink dresses, lots of singing, energetic dancing, bubbly sorority girls and a message to be true to yourself: “Omigod you guys, it’s Legally Blonde, The Musical!”
That isn’t to denigrate the performance of the human cast – it is just that the dogs were so adorable, that the moment either came on stage there was a collective “aww” from the audience and only minimal attention was paid to anyone else.
Moving on to the non-canines, Susan McFadden, winner of ITV’s 2007 Grease is the Word, turns in a charming performance as Elle, faultless in both her acting and singing.
She is particularly touching in her sadness on discovering the real reason her law teacher hired her as an intern – and then wonderfully sparkling in her comeback.
Alex Gaumond who plays Emmett, Elle’s friend and eventual love interest, sang capably rather than spectacularly, but made up for this with a movingly sweet performance and spot on comic timing.
Tamara Wall as Brooke Wyndham, the fitness queen who Elle defends on a murder charge, deserves a mention – not only for an overall accomplished performance but also for managing the impressive feat of singing while carrying out a demanding skipping rope routine.
Elle’s three closest Delta Nu sorority sisters being with her at Harvard as a “Greek tragic chorus” figment of her imagination, differs from the film and was an inspired move.
Inspired because, being Legally Blonde, the tragic element is dispensed with and the girls are more of a pep squad cheering Elle on and adding even more colour and cheer to the show.
The only real flaw in the production was that cast members often failed to properly enunciate their words meaning many lines were lost.
A further criticism might be the lack of credibility in the plot – but for me that is not really a problem. I doubt anyone in the audience was expecting a realistic look at life in the legal profession.
That being said, as a former solicitor I have a certain delight in imagining that one day an ex-colleague may refuse to give their boss vital information using Elle’s line: “I double Delta Nu sister swore not to.”
Legally Blonde, The Musical undoubtedly delivers on its promise of fun. I defy anyone to leave the theatre without a smile on their face and Omigod you guys, on which the show opens and closes, in their head.