City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Legally Blonde, Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Review

By Katie Stephen - Posted on 29 November 2017

thumbnail_Legally Blonde Lucie Jones (Elle Woods) left, Rita Simons (Paulette Bonafonte) Photo Robert Workman.jpg
Show Details
Martin Todd for UK Productions
Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin (Music and Lyrics), Heather Hach (Book), Amanda Brown (Novelist), Anthony Williams (Director/Choreographer), Dean Street (Co-Choreographer), James McCullagh (Musical Supervisor) Martin Dodd (Producer), Andrew Griffiths (Additional Orchestions), Andy Batty (Production Designer), Jon Harris, Jason Bishop and David Shields (Set Design), Elizabeth Dennis (Costume Design), Nev Milson (Lighting Design), Christopher Bogg (Sound Design).
Lucie Jones (Elle Woods), Rita Simons (Paulette Bonafonte), bill Ward (Professor Callahan), David Barrett (Emmett Forrest), Liam Doyle (Warner Huntington III), Vivienne Kensington (Laura Harrison), Ben Harlow (Lowell/Kyle B O’Boyle), Helen Petrovna (Whitney/Brooke Wyndham), Mark Peachey (Winthrop/Dewey/Elle’s Dad), Rebecca Stenhouse (Margot), Rachel Grundy (Serena), Delycia Belgrave (Pilar), Nancy Hill (Enid Hoops), Rosie Needham (Kate/Chutney), Michael Hamway (Aaron Shultz/Stenographer), Felipe Bejarano (Sundeep Padamadan/Nikos), Lucyelle Cliffe (Elle’s Mum/Pforzheimer/Store Manager/Judge), Sally Firth (Gaelen/Laker Girl/Da Joyce Riley), Alexandra Wright (Leilani/Assistant Da), Brett Shiels (Grand Master Chad/Skater), Connor Collins (Kiki/Carlos), Laura Mullowney (Female Swing, Craig Tyler (Male Swing), Bruisey Williams-Dodd (Bruiser), Rufus (Bertie).
Running time: 

From unpublished novel, to critically acclaimed chick-flick success the tale of Elle Woods’ entrance to the bar appears to have found its apogee in the musical theatre world. 10 years after it opened on Broadway, the high energy score and party of pink, puppies and paralegal preps still demands your full attention!

Destined for a life of film studios, Birkin bags, and her toughest decision being what new pink dress to buy, bubbly blonde Elle’s perfect life in Malibu makes a screeching u-turn when Harvard bound boyfriend Warner Huntington III breaks up with her. In a desperate attempt to be “less of a Marilyn, more a Jackie” Elle follows him to the Ivy League law school where, fuelled by red bull and sheer positivity, she discovers her true potential as a lawyer.

Whilst remaining true to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin do not shy away from making this their own exuberant explosion of get-up-and-go imploring you not to take anything too seriously! “There! Right There!” steals the show as a cast wide, fanatically camp performance where Elle’s law team attempt to define whether the pool boy is gay or European.

This number, much like most in director and choreographer Anthony Williams’ vivacious production, is overflowing with hilarious one liners, and choreography to die for or - in the case of the accused Brooke Wyndham’s “Whipped Into Shape” - whilst doing! Helen Petrovna leads the cast in a robust skipping routine not for the faint-hearted, and the Delta Nu girls teach lonesome beautician Paulette Bonafonte the infamous “Bend and Snap” routine to help her find win over the new UPS delivery man.

On Malibu Barbie style staging that could have been designed by Mattel. Inc themselves, the exceptional cast perform with real gusto. Eastenders actor Rita Simons gives a finely tuned performance of Paulette Bonafonte with real grit and surprising vocals, yet Corrie’s Bill Ward falls short of the requirements for a believable Callaghan. As it should be, no one can steal the limelight from leading lady Lucie Jones - who knods to Witherspoon’s portrayal of this lovestruck law student before adding her own splashes of intellect and sass.

Feminist in its story, and empowering in its message - albeit a bit farfetched for some - Legally Blonde is a guilty pleasure to be proud of, especially in O’Keefe and Benjamin’s bombshell of a production! Omigod you guys! It’s like so totally rad!

Until Saturday 2nd December.