As a website featuring theatre breaks, it’s fair to say that we’ve seen our share of West End shows. However, as a team consisting largely of Andrew Lloyd Webber fans and not overly keen on cerise pink, we didn’t know what to expect with Legally Blonde The Musical, apart from a probable overdose of whiny American accents and excessive ‘like’s. So, we were totally psyched when it became clear in the vibrant opening scene that what we were actually going to experience was a completely non-whiny, refreshing musical that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The musical follows the story of Elle Woods (the superb Sheridan Smith), a loveable Gemini with double Capricorn moon from Malibu, who defies expectations by getting into Harvard law school in order to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner (Richard Fleeshman). As the plot twists its way through catchy, witty songs that’ll have you shrieking with laughter in your chair, the audience comes to learn that there’s a lot more to Elle (and indeed this production) than a ditzy exterior.
Oh, no – Legally Blonde is a clever, must-see musical that’ll have you bending and snapping all the way home (it’s a Delta Nu sorority thing). Particular highlights in this spectacular glamp-fest include appearances from a UPS man (he’s “got a package”), an impromptu riverdance and a hilarious courtroom scene in Act 2, which deserves to go down as one of the funniest scenes in a musical ever. Amongst a highly energetic cast, Sheridan Smith is the icing on this (cup)cake, showcasing impeccable comic timing and an equally impeccable singing voice that’s a million Chihuahuas away from her Two Pints of Lager and A Packet of Crisps image.
Our verdict: Five big pink stars out of five.
We asked the cast about their holiday experiences and what it’s like to work in the theatre capital of the world – here’s what they told us:
What are your suitcase essentials?
Sheridan Smith: Sun cream, after sun, a good book and bikini.
Richard Fleeshman: IPod, swimwear and sun glasses.
Peter Davison: Decent shampoo and enough underwear and socks to avoid having to wash them.
What’s better: A holiday with your friends or a loved one?
Sheridan: Holiday with friends.
Richard: I’m single so would go with friends.
Peter: A loved one.
What has been your best and worst holiday ever?
Sheridan: Cleethorpes as a kid for both. Fun times as a child but crap weather!
Richard: Disneyland with family as a kid was the best, but the worst was a school ski trip when my sister broke her back! (She is fine now though).
Peter: The best was going to America on Concorde. The worst was being stranded in Rome on a pre-honeymoon when all I wanted to do was get home and see the kids.
Beach with a book or sightseeing in a city?
Sheridan: Beach with a good book.
Richard: Beach and book but with scuba diving as well.
Peter: Sightseeing in a city.
Ultimate holiday destination?
Sheridan: The Maldives, but as it is so special I want to wait to save it as a honeymoon destination – got to find a husband first!
Richard: I’m going when I finish Legally Blonde – backpacking in Thailand.
Peter: St Petersburg, Russia.
What are the best and worst parts of working in the West End?
Sheridan: Worst part the unsociable hours. Best part everything else.
Richard: The best is doing what you love and being paid for it. The worst is the unsociable hours.
Peter: The best is that it’s the greatest theatre capital in the world. The worst the traffic getting into work and home again.
Sheridan Smith will be appearing in Legally Blonde, The Musical until 9th January 2011, with Denise Van Outen, Carley Stenson and Simon Thomas joining the cast on 25th Oct 2010.
If you’ve been to Legally Blonde the Musical, let us know what you thought, or check out our Legally Blonde The Musical theatre breaks.