Amrita Rande reviews Roast Battles, an evening of comedy, performance and roasts from some of the stars of RuPaul's Drag RaceWritten by Amrita Mande on 19th January 2019
Review: Legally Blonde at the New Alexandra Theatre
Culture writer Louisa Bebb reviews the fun and energetic touring production of Legally Blonde at the New Alexandra Theatre.
Oh my god you guys! Legally Blonde has arrived at the New Alexandra theatre and you TOTALLY have to go and see it!
The show follows the story of Delta Nu president and fashionista Elle Woods, and her elaborate plan to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner, played by Liam Doyle, who needs a girl that’s a little more ‘serious’. Elle ditches the partying in favor of studying, determined to win a place at Harvard Law School and demonstrate to Warner that she is just as serious, and intelligent, as him.
Lucie Jones, who represented the UK at Eurovision last year, was the perfect Elle. She was funny, she was sassy and she was powerful. Elle experiences a vast range of emotions throughout the story, every one of which was portrayed brilliantly by Jones, truly bringing Elle Woods to life.
“'Lucie Jones... was the perfect Elle. She was funny, she was sassy and she was powerful.'
The show opened with the enthusiastic musical number “Ohmigod You Guys”, which set a precedent for what was a high energy performance from start to finish. Particularly fantastic performances came from Delta Nu sisters Margot, Serena and Pilar, played by Rebecca Stenhouse, Sally Frith and Delycia Belgrave respectively, who also appeared as Elle’s personal Greek Chorus throughout.
Bill Ward is superb as the strict and stern Professor Callahan. His performance was enough to secure him both boos and cheers, truly embodying character you love to hate.
The set changes were frequent and slick, and together with clever staging gave the performance a busy and bustling feel which fitted with the story perfectly.
I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud so much at the theatre. “Legally Blonde” was genuinely hilarious, an attribute achieved by a combination of perfect comedic timing, witty writing and individual performances. Every joke was so brilliantly over the top, but at the same time never felt overdone. On this note, a special mention should be given to Rita Simon’s portrayal of salon owner Paulette Bonafonte, which had the entire audience laughing on more than one occasion. Her confident performance was exceptionally funny and she provided wonderful vocals, which together made her character incredibly lovable.
But this was also a tale of love, a theme echoed by the on-stage chemistry of Jones and David Barrett, who played Elle’s love interest Emmett Forrest, the unlikely hero of the story.
The musical wasn’t packed full of your usual show tunes, and it’s true that the songs sometimes felt a little samey and forgettable. However, the soundtrack remained enjoyable and complimented the fast-paced performance.
“'I had lots of fun, and isn’t that what the theatre is all about?'
I emerged from the New Alexandra with a grin on my face. There’s no better way to describe the experience than saying I had lots of fun, and isn’t that what the theatre is all about? So, if you’re looking for a good time, go and see Legally Blonde. Meanwhile, I’ll be bleaching my hair and purchasing an entirely pink wardrobe.
Legally Blonde plays at the New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, until Saturday 26th of May. More information can be found here.