By Peter May
Most people are familiar with the hit film but hands up who knew this was based on a true Story? This ditsy story was originally based on author Amanda Brown’s experiences while enrolled in Stanford Law School. However in the movie the school was switched to Harvard. The plot is simple involving Elle Woods, a blonde California sorority president who is deeply in love with her college sweetheart. Elle’s future plans with him get derailed when he enrols in Stanford and aims to find a girl more serious than Elle to be his bride leaving her to hatch a plan to win him back.
It’s sugary, high-energy fluff throughout with unexpected moments of real wit, along with, it must be said, moments that might give die-hard feminists the vapours. The ‘Bend & Snap’ scene – pivotal to the film – where Elle and her cohorts teach a lesson in picking up men by dropping items on the floor then provocatively bending down to retrieve them, is just one example.
The ultra-camp depiction of a couple of gay characters – while presented entirely without malice, and in keeping with the larky, cartoon-like tone of the whole show – could also potentially make eyes water. Most of it defies being taken seriously, which is just as well.
X Factor runner up Lucie Jones puts on an admirable performance stepping into Reece Witherspoons stilettos as Elle. She has bags of charisma and a pretty decent voice too. Jones has good chemistry with fellow cast mate and former EastEnder Rita Simons who plays the downtrodden and brassy Paulette.
The show does grate at times but it has proved to be a tried and tested hit in the West End and Broadway so is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Legally Blonde is at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 23 June, then touring