Updated: Monday, 24th September 2018 @ 5:48am

Review: Legally Blonde the Musical @ Palace Theatre, Manchester

Review: Legally Blonde the Musical @ Palace Theatre, Manchester

| By Ellen Waters

“Even if I crash and burn ten times a day, I think I'm here to stay”

Legally Blonde the Musical manages to be everything – a fun, fiery, empowering, extravagant, heartfelt production that never takes itself too seriously.

Based on the hit 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon, the plot follows the story of Elle Woods – a rich, popular fashion merchandising graduate from UCLA and president of the Delta Nu sorority – who pursues her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School after he breaks up with her for not being serious enough.

Over the course of her time at Harvard and helped by her new friends Emmett and Paulette, Elle begins to realise that she wants to make more of herself than just being ‘blonde’, and wins her first law case – proving that ‘being true to yourself never goes out of style’.

In this performance at the Palace Theatre, the role of Elle was played by Lucie Jones’ understudy Rebecca Stenhouse. This was no disappointment.

HEARTFELT: The show is full of fun and fiery action

Stenhouse’s powerful voice, flawless dance moves and comedic flair really led the production, capturing the mannerisms of Witherspoon’s character whilst also making it her own.

She was supported brilliantly by the performances of Bill Ward as Professor Callahan, Rita Simons as Paulette and David Barrett as Emmett.

Some of the most notable songs included Ireland sung by Simons, involving a huge Irish flag and a chorus line of Irish dancing, Gay or European, which had the audience in visible hysterics, and Bend and Snap, which was a favourite scene in the movie for many fans and they certainly did it no disservice.

Elle teaches Paulette a move in order to attract the attention of Kyle and, in true musical theatre style, the tutorial soon becomes a full-scale number with all the salon customers joining in to learn the step.

Ben Harlow’s Kyle was a favourite with the audience, as the flirty UPS delivery man who would stroll onto the stage and wink at the audience on every entrance.

BEND AND SNAP: The musical numbers closely mirror the classic film

The writing of the musical itself is very clever, incorporating enough of the plot and killer lines of the original film to satisfy fans without allowing itself to become a mere duplicate. The music, set and beautifully caricatured performances, make it an entirely different and more immersive experience, with hilarious and touching moments throughout.

The brilliantly over the top set – featuring the Delta Nu house, huge glittering letters spelling Elle, and confetti cannons in the finale – particularly added to the glitz and glamour of the production.

The musical is a dazzling night out, with the spirit, hilarious characters and powerful message of the film alongside its own touch of cheesy musical fun. A captivating, feel good show with a whole lot of pink.