This week myself and Mr H went to see the touring production of Legally Blonde, at the New Theatre in Cardiff.
I’ve mentioned before that theatre is a big part of our lives, so when a friend of ours was coming to Cardiff whilst working on this tour, we jumped at the chance (and the discount!) to go and see one of our favourite musicals and treat ourselves to a date night together. It’s not often that we get to see shows together where Mr H isn’t working on it!
Bringing this classic 00’s Reese Witherspoon film to the stage with the added bonus of feel good songs and fantastic dance routines. The cast really impressed, with bundles of energy from the opening number until the very end.
Legally Blonde is the well-known story of sorority president Elle Woods (Lucie Jones), as she follows her heart and ex boyfriend Warner (Liam Doyle) to Harvard Law School.
Whilst there she meets the slightly scruffy bit utterly adorable Emmett Forest (David Barrett) and learns much more about law and herself than she ever bargained for.
Taking on an internship from the intense and severe professor (Bill Ward) they defend fitness queen Brooke Wyndham (Helen Petrovna) in a murder trial.
“Local girl” Lucie Jones, from Pentyrch in Cardiff, really showed off her wide vocal range in the leading role of Elle Woods.
Having been on X Factor and represented the UK in this year’s Eurovision her singing was never in doubt, but her acting also excelled. We’d seen this when it was on the West End with the wonderful Sheridan Smith fulfilling the lead role, I was apprehensive to how Lucie would compare, but she really made the part her own and aced it.
Bill Ward, of Coronation Street fame, was frustratingly brilliant as nasty Professor Callahan. He was fired up and patronising as only a lawyer full of himself could be. The “boos” he received from the audience at the end were just an accolade of what a horrible character he portrayed.
I have to say though, that Rita Simmons really stood out for us. You’ll most likely recognise Rita from her time as Roxy Mitchell in Eastenders, but I bet you never realised what a fabulous voice she has.
The part of Paulette is very funny and loving at the same time, it would be so easy to over egg it and turn it pantomimic, but Rita played every line perfectly. Her acting and comedic timing were impeccable and her voice absolutely blew us and the rest of the audience away. Rita really belted out her numbers, but with great control, and every note was hit perfectly.
Paulette’s developing relationship with delivery guy Kyle (Ben Harlow) was simultaneously heart warming and hysterical. And yes, her “bend and snap” was perfectly on point!
Oh and Rufus, Paulette’s dog, was just the cutest thing! I really wanted to bring him home, and was so excited when I happened to meet the “star” outside the theatre!
The set design was great, but a little mismatched between realistic and a bit cartoony in places. But the way it all moved and came together was brilliant, really impressive. Especially when we found out that not all the set could be used as it was too big for this stage.
The many costumes were brilliant. Perfectly suited to each character, with plenty of glitz and glamour. Details such as Emmett’s “ratty corduroy” suit being oversized, more than likely a second hand one all he could afford, really helped bring even more life to the characters.
And the pink graduation gowns for the finale were gloriously over the top and really made the ending sparkle.
The show finishes with a reprise of quite a few of the songs. It adds on another 10 mintutes to what is already quite a long show, but it really gets the audience up on their feet and literally dancing in the aisles.
Mr H felt it was too long and not really needed, but loved it, though the clapping all the way through did leave me with very sore hands haha!!
You’ve only got until Saturday to catch this fantastic production in Cardiff, before it moves onto Edinburgh and then many more places across the Uk and Ireland in the new year! Take a look here to find out if it’s visiting a town near you.
It’s a proper feel good show, very well directed with some absolutely brilliant performances. The perfect show for a night out with friends or family, and will leave you bubbling with happiness and singing along for a long while after!
Mrs H xxx
*disclaimer – we received a discount from a friend to buy the tickets, but we did pay for them and I was not asked to write a review.