Review: Legally Blonde - OMG! You guys! Rita’s in the pink

Legally Blonde: Lucie Jones as Elle Woods and Rita Simons as Paulette
Legally Blonde: Lucie Jones as Elle Woods and Rita Simons as Paulette
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THERE’S a lot of pink on stage at the Festival Theatre, this week. So much pink. Yes, Elle Woods is back in town.

* * * *


Legally Blonde is a tale of triumph in the face of adversity.

Dumped by her want-to-be attorney boyfriend Warner Huntington III, blonde ‘air-head’ Elle follows him to Harvard University where she too enrols to study for a law degree, determined to win back the love of her life... only he has already moved on.

And so, Elle embarks on an all singing, all dancing voyage of self-discovery.

Lucie Jones’ Elle is no bimbo, however, she’s a feisty, intelligent blonde with a huge heart and sharp mind, despite her endearingly ditzy moments.

Played with natural energy that transcends the stage, Jones is at home in the show which, from the opening number, is a camp fest, not that this production fully embraces that - it could be so much more.

Characters and situations could be played bigger, Legally Blonde has panto qualities that, like the Trott family cow, need milking.

One person who understands this is EastEnders’ favourite Rita Simons who is on fire as trailer trash hairdresser Paulette Bonafonte.

Delivering a comic tour de force and boasting what is without a doubt the best voice on stage, Simons steals every scene she is in.

Other stand out performances come from David Barret, who brings a sanguine integrity to the nerdy Emmet Forrest, and Laura Harrison who too is in fine fettle as love rival Vivienne.

Oh, and let’s not forget our furry friends Bruiser and Rufus, played by Bruisey Williams-Dodd and Bertie, or rather let’s, as at this performance neither seemed interested.

While Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin’s songs are on the whole fairly forgettable, the hilarious and brilliantly politically incorrect Gay or European is the exception. It brings the house down and is worth the ticket price alone.

Tackling themes of difference, sexual harassment, homophobia and personal growth, among others, Legally Blonde carries strong messages and if the story gets a bit lost as the second act turns into a joyous celebration, the audience don’t seem to mind.

Squeaky voices have never been so much fun.

As Elle would say, ‘OMG! you guys, enjoy the show.’

Run ends Saturday