Monday, 2 July 2012

Legally Blonde Southampton Reviews

I'm sure a lot of people who go to see Legally Blonde are looking forward to seeing household names like Ray Quinn (Warner) and Les Dennis (Professor Callaghan) but when they leave the theatre the person they're all talking about is Faye Brookes.

I was lucky enough to be at Southampton on Saturday for the penultimate show and I recently found a couple of nice show reviews done by local newspapers. The first written by Mischa Allen for the Portsmouth paper 'The News' an the second by Phil Hewitt of the Chichester Observer.

Mischa Allen

Oh my god, Legally Blonde totally arrived at the Mayflower Theatre on Tuesday evening, and it was a night of chihauhua-toting snap-bending fun.

Adapted for the stage by Laurence O-Keefe and Nell Benjamin from the novel and film, it looks at the blonde and bright sorority girl, Elle Woods, as she follows her boyfriend to Harvard.

I will admit I was a little apprehensive. A massive fan of the 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon, I was worried it would be a step too far for glittering law books and dressed-up dogs.

But that’s exactly what made it so good – really good.

Infectious songs, such as Omigod You Guys and Whipped Into Shape, litter the production, and let’s not forget the imaginative Ireland, which involves the ensemble attempting a pretty good Irish jig. (It has something to do with Niki Evan’s character Paulette and her love of all things Irish).

Faye Brookes sparkles as the headstrong Elle and is a joy to watch in the role. Ray Quinn plays a suitably skin-crawling Warner, while Les Dennis is a sharp Professor Callaghan.

If you’re looking for pure, girlie, escapism I suggest you go see it. And then, like, totally go see it again.

Chichester Observer
Phil Hewitt

Sparky, witty and full of fun, Legally Blonde is a blond bombshell of a musical – high on energy and even higher on laughs.

Faye Brookes gives the loveliest of performances as Elle Woods, the blonde who offers the best possible response when her aspiring boyfriend dumps her in the belief that her pink and fluffy blondness will hold him back.

Elle gets herself into the same top law school and then trumps everyone by getting to the nub of high-profile murder case that has the rest of the legal team scratching their heads.

The musical is all about the triumph of Elle’s instinctive decency – an upbeat tale about not judging a blonde by her pink fluffiness.

And Brookes judges her performance to perfection, making Elle both likeable and interesting.

Ray Quinn similarly impresses as the self-seeking dimwit who doesn’t see her potential; and Iwan Lewis is terrific as the nice guy who does.

Les Dennis is an admirable Professor Callaghan, the fearsome don who falls horribly below the standards he seems to set.

If there’s a niggle, it’s that there aren’t too many of the songs that truly stand out; in fact, there are several you would happily see dropped.

But there’s no doubting the infectious fun which runs right through, stylishly and faultlessly delivered by a top cast at the top of their game.

I'll be posting old stories and reviews of previous shows in due course.

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