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Legally Blonde, the Musical Jr.

by on 23 December 2022

Pink Panache

Legally Blonde, the Musical Jr.

music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, book by Heather Hach, based on the novel by Amanda Brown

Dramacube, Twickenham Purple Cast at Hampton Hill Theatre until 21st December

Review by Heather Moulson

Esher production

The musical Legally Blonde, the Musical which first hit the US stage in 2007, is a fun coming-of-age story set in a Californian high school and the law college at Harvard.  I hadn’t seen the film nor the West End version of this detailed production, so I arrived with a blank page.  This was the Purple cast for Legally Blonde, director Matthew Bunn having taken on two different casts in two different venues for this production.     

A simple set with the lead’s name Elle in big letters, surrounded by balloons and other pink girly paraphernalia was a good focal point as Elle’s friends brought the heroine into the frame with Omigod You Guys.  Dressed for a dream date with her steady guy Warner Huntington III, Elle was given the elbow, as Chester Barnes’ Warner revealed his upward mobility, intending to move onto Harvard without her.  Elle, played by Mimi Worsley, was convincingly upset and outraged, and dealt with the catalyst moment well.  Was Elle too blonde?  Too pink?  Despite what the cad feared, these two things worked for her.

With support from her loyal pals such as Kate, played with gusto by Oriel Gooding, Elle made her way into Harvard and warmed to the rather nerdish Emmett, the law-teaching assistant, played by a convincing Jamie Brindsen.  Elle determinedly made her way to win back her man, not letting the clipped love rival and classmate Vivienne stand in her way. After a brief flirtation with wearing severe black, and telling the unscrupulous Jem Warden’s Callahan where to get off as he made a pass at her, Elle reappeared in the colour that defined her with the full backing of Vivienne. 

From tacky to pert, pink was Elle’s colour, so it was a shame the lead actor was in a pink jacket that was too big for her slender frame, and that her pink attire for Harvard did not live up to the impact of her arrival.  However, Elle’s amazing outfit at the beginning, and the turnaround garments at the end looked stunning. 

Musical numbers and choreography were tight and uplifting, but not all the songs were memorable.  The cast, with their doubling of roles, were strong and worth watching. The sorority sisters of Delta Nu worked well as a Greek chorus. 

Runaway scene stealers were the captivating beautician Paulette, vibrantly played by Charlotte Taylor, who became a close friend, and her delivery boy beau Brendan.  The best musical number was Bend and Snap, where the girls of the cast really pulled together. The snotty Vivienne, played by Megan Went turned her character around beautifully.  Elle was highly watchable, although unfortunately projection was not always clear.  However, her determined stand to be individual was well conveyed.   

Legally Blonde, the Musical Jr was produced by Steve Leslie and directed by prolific Matthew Bunn, whose their hard work handsomely paid off.  Musical Direction and choreography by Rory Cubin brought the talent and music to its full potential, and there was thoughtful lighting by Gary Stevenson and Lizzie Lattimore.  A great and tightly packed seventy minutes made a welcome foil to the ubiquitous pre-Christmas pantos.

Heather Moulson, December 2022

Photography by Simone Sutton

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  1. Legally Blonde | Mark Aspen

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