Thursday, 26 July 2012

Legally Blonde Tour Review - Plymouth

Faye and the Legally Blonde gang are already wowing audiences in Plymouth. Check out the review below by D Knowles and if you live in Devon or Cornwall make sure you see this incredible show. Oh, and if you've already seen it, GO AGAIN, you know you want to.

@ElleWoodsOnTour The sun looks glorious from my dressing room window...but Plymouth is rocking these Matinees for us! x

Legally Blonde - Plymouth, Theatre Royal
By D Knowles

Omigod more musical theatre in Plymouth and this one is a cracker.

Legally Blonde the musical arrived in town all pink fluff and cute dogs. It was announced at the start of the show that understudies would play the roles of Paulette and Margot, but such was the fervour, anticipation and excitement of the audience that this news was received without even a murmur.

The girls setting the scene in the first number were great, high energy frivolity, performing the exacting choreography to perfection. And a good job to, because the sound quality for this number was distorted and echoey and it was difficult to pick out the words. The audience was however left in no doubt as to the story line – which follows Elle (Faye Brooks) who although blonde is actually quite astute and certainly no pushover.

This is a crucial piece of information as the whole unbelievable storyline hangs on the fact that this blonde young woman will be able to change from serial shopper and wannabe bride to determined academic able to attend Harvard Law School and thus impress her man – Warner Huntingdon the Third played by non other than Gareth Gates. When I heard him sing I knew why I voted for him in 2002, his voice is effortless and has real clarity. But unfortunately he doesn’t get Elle’s vote who, during the course of her studies, meets Emmett Forest (Iwan Lewis) and discovers that he is a nicer man in almost every department.

Lewis plays Emmett with just the right amount of everything, his humour is soft but nevertheless funny, he is downtrodden but not so much that you can’t see potential and cute rather than handsome. He is perfectly cast. As is Brooks who makes the role of Elle her own and receives huge appreciation, richly deserved, from the audience as a result.

The large cast (sometimes the stage seemed very crowded) kept up the level of energy and commitment throughout and their enjoyment was infectious. There were ‘stars’ too numerous to mention individually however, Jon Reynolds as Kiki complete with his pink ugg boots was noteworthy as was Lewis Grifiths as Kyle the delivery man. And Rhona McGregor playing the role of Paulette in the absence of Jennifer Ellison was superb, her clear crisp voice delivering lines and songs superbly whist her ability to convey feelings with eye contact and body language was unsurpassed on stage.

The sets and props were imaginative and were moved on and off stage slickly and with minimum of disruption however the lighting on occasions seemed to fall short of the mark. The problems early on with the sound and the lighting glitches stopped me giving this performance a five and the lack of halves means it will only get 4 stars but it was a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable night out – well done Theatre Royal for allowing the good people of Plymouth the opportunity to see these musical blockbusters.

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