Saturday, 15 September 2012

Manchester 2012 Legally Blonde Review

I'm actually going away on holiday for a week today and I wont therefore be able to update the blog again until I return on Saturday 22nd September; the day after my Birthday :)

However, before I depart I wanted to leave you with the latest Legally Blonde review taken from the Manchester Evening News.

I'm sure by now you're beginning to notice a patern. Everyone loves LB and everyone adores Faye Brookes.

Legally Blonde Review
Manchester, Manchester Opera House - September 2012

Feeling in need of a tonic after the post Olympic and Paralympic downer? Look no further than Elle Woods and her lively crew in Legally Blonde.

Flixton's finest, Faye Brookes, plays the pink-loving blonde law student who follows her ex boyfriend to Harvard to try and win him back only to find he's dating a serious brunette.

Brookes, a former Knutsford High School pupil and Pendleton College student, exceeds the requirements of the role. From shimmying and shakin' her booty to using her expressive face to play it for laughs, this petite powerhouse proves she is a theatrical force to be reckoned with.

And Gareth Gates has matured into a musical star, a decade after the shy stammering Bradford teenager won the nation's hearts in Pop Idol. His portrayal of Elle's snobbish ex, Warner, is confident and assured and that voice is as beautiful as ever.

Former Brookside star Jennifer Ellison plays hairdresser Paulette in a more understated fashion than others – although Paulette's fashion sense is as crazy as expected.

Rawtenstall actress Natalie Casey (Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps) grabbed the role and owned the stage when she took over from Denise Van Outen as Paulette at London's Savoy Theatre last year. Ellison's Paulette is more low key – although watchable.

Far from low-key are Elle's gal pals – with a stand-out performance from Micha Richardson.

Before taking our seats, I'd turned to my gal pal, who hadn't seen the 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon or the stage version and said: "If you like dancing, cute dogs and ditzy blondes, you'll like this."

She didn't look convinced but she was laughing uproariously long before the hilarious Is He Gay or European? (guaranteed to make the theatre erupt) struck up in the second half courtroom scene: "I can't understand why I like it but I do," she said.

Best advice is not to analyse why it's so enjoyable; the plot is as thin as Elle Woods' arms and the supposedly serious subtext – to challenge the way we make assumptions based on appearance is stretching it somewhat. This musical isn't challenging but it is entertaining, exhilarating and uplifting.

Don't forget Legally Blonde is in Manchester until Saturday 22nd September so you still have time to book your tickets to see the best show on earth.


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