Saturday, February 25, 2012

'Legally Blonde' - catch it before it closes

I saw Legally Blonde in the West End on my birthday two years ago with two of my friends. I was highly dubious when mum told me she had booked tickets for it. It had only been running for three months then so I didn't know anyone who'd have seen it and, frankly, it did not seem like my kind of thing at all... Despite that, I ended up loving it. So when I heard the show was closing I knew I had to see it once more (even though I end up wanting all the pink dresses...)

Legally Blonde the Musical at the Savoy Theatre
Performance: Tuesday 21st February at 19:30
Seat: Centre rear stalls
Cast included: Carley Stenson (Elle Woods), Stephen Ashfield (Emmett Forrest), Ben Freeman (Warner Huntington III), Peter Davison (Prof. Callahan), Natalie Casey (Paulette Buonufonté), Tricia Adele-Turner (Vivienne Kensington), Aoife Mulholland (Brooke Wyndham)

What's the thing about Legally Blonde? In the two years it's been running, the musical has gained a rather extensive fan base. For me (being someone who likes an intellectual challenge) the unbelievably witty lyrics did the trick. The musical was not simply full on pink, fluffy and girly; it was actually funny in quite a clever way.
Which songs do I like the best? So Much Better and There! Right There! come joint first. I have much love for Legally Blonde and Ireland too. I enjoy singing the title track especially as with a little bit of editing it works brilliantly as a solo song.

"Some girls fight hard, some face the trial, some girls are just meant to smile. It's not up to me, just let me be legally blonde."

A Finnish production of Legally Blonde ran for the 2011 summer season at an open air theatre and the "Gay or European" had been changed to "Gay or Swedish" to work better for the Finnish audience. It made me laugh so much. 
Carley Stenson and the current West End company (Source)
I have to say that I enjoyed the show more the first time round than I did this time. I think it was partly to do with the cast because I liked the original West End cast so much that the experience I had watching them was a very difficult one to top. However, that is not to say that the current cast did not do a brilliant job. Carley was wonderfully funny as Elle, Ben had the right kind of hot-guy-who-gets-all-the-girls look, Natalie made Paulette her own and Aoife was great as Brooke. I still cannot get over the fact that she used a skipping rope to do a pretty full-on work-out while singing perfectly with a steady voice. A special mention also to Lucy Miller, Ellie Kirk and Abiona Omonua who sang the parts of Elle's friends (Serena, Margot and Pilar respectively) amazingly well. 

Carley Stenson as Elle (Source)
It's a shame this West End production is closing. That will be one proper feel-good musical out of the door. Then again, there is currently a UK touring production not to mention worldwide productions (the next production due to open in Sydney this year) so I'm sure that this won't be the end of Legally Blonde :) 

Fact from the website: "There are 18 songs in the show and Elle sings 16 of them as well as having 19 costume changes." - impressive!
UK website:
Legally Blonde the Musical closing in the West End on 7th April 2012.


  1. You saw the Finnish version, right? So many people love this musical, and I was pretty excited going to see it last summer - and I pretty much hated it (well, maybe apart from the Gay or Swedish song, that made me laugh. And a couple of songs are guilty pleasures, I keep looping So Much Better... :D).
    I've been wondering if it was an especially horrid production or if Legally Blonde just isn't my type of a show... What did you think?

    1. I did see the Finnish production and, frankly, it wasn't near as good as in the West End. There were quite a few people in the Finnish cast who weren't that great singers (and you actually need a lot of voice even to play some of the supporting roles) and it is just such an American show that I can't imagine it working brilliantly in other languages than English (as I mentioned in the post, the English lyrics are really clever at times and I remembe thinking the translation was lacking some of the jokes). The theatre obviously being outdoors with a revolving auditorium was rather a challenge too. There was something slightly unfocused about the Finnish production as well. I don't know why I got that feel but it just sort of seemed to be all over the place rather than bang on if you get what I mean.

      The West End production is a proper feel-good thing and I don't think I've come across anyone yet who'd gone and seen it and not liked it at all (you could compare it to something like 'Mamma Mia!' maybe). The West End production was way more flashy and energetic I think than the Finnish one. I am fairly sure you'd much prefer the English version!

    2. No wonder - summer theatre isn't always exactly known for its amazing quality... :P Not saying there can't be great summer theatre pieces, but maybe Legally Blonde was a little too big a challenge for them.

      Here's to hoping there'll be a world tour, or a better Finnish production, one day!

  2. Absolutely love legally! So sad it's closing. Not crazy on Carley as Elle though. I loved susan Mcfadden :)

    1. Ahhh! I wanted to see Susan but didn't get the chance. Got the impression that she was smashing as Elle.