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Legally Blonde The Musical - LOPS Review

Reviewed by Mark Johnson
Tickets were gifted in return for an honest review.

Bursting to life with bright pink colour LOPS (Leicester Operatic Players) stage their version of Legally Blonde The Musical at The Little Theatre in Leicester.

Photo by Poyner and Mee

Telling the story of Elle Woods, who follows the love of her life to Harvard law school in hope of winning him back after being dumped for not being ‘serious’. Instead Elle finds her own way and discovers her skill for law and ultimately her own happiness.

Taking on the lead role of Elle Woods is Emily Haywood. Haywood excels and leads the production superbly. Providing warmth and instant like-ability her performance feels confident and assured throughout. Vocally Haywood delivers as well, with a lovely vocal quality that brings the score to life. 

Simon Collington’s Emmett is a good match to Haywood’s Elle. Providing a sense of calm, Collington does a good job with the building of the character. On the flip side, Ben Cusack as Warner Huntingdon III is a rightly more arrogant and befitting with the character. 

Martin Green has one of the strongest vocals in the company and is great as Professor Callahan. He manages to make it so second act turn in the character becomes a little more unexpected and that plays off well.

Alice Oakley’s Paulette Bonafont√© is wonderfully a little larger-than-life. She also showcases a nice vocal performance in the solo ‘Ireland’ and its reprise. Natasha Ann Carr doesn’t get to showcase vocals into late into the second act but it’s worth the wait. Carr is superb as Vivienne, providing both being a bit of a bitch but deep down with a heart and a soul that is kind. 

Photo by Poyner and Mee.

Charlotte Brown’s Margot, Niall Johnson’s Pilar and Rachel Wheeler’s Serena provide nice and bright support as the they appear as a ‘Greek chorus’. They add a bit of fun to certain scenes and all are strong movers.

What you can’t deny is that every person on the stage gives their all. Sometimes some performances are pitched a little to over the top but on the whole it’s a hard working company with some real talent amongst them. This is most evident when they are performing Ellie Newbrooks’s choreography. Pulling off a number like ‘Whipped Into Shape’ is not easy, and the skipping is impressive led by Rosie Chalmers’ Brooke Wyndham. Despite the hard work of the company the two dogs do almost
completely steal the show!

Musically it was hard to tell if there were any cues made for the company but sometimes the cast were a beat or two ahead of behind in the musical numbers. Sometimes the music also drowned out the performers.

Unfortunately the design does hold things back. Scene changes are particularly messy both in terms of set changes and costume changes. The projected backdrop on the opening performance failed to change scene in the first act and flickered every now and then. The occasional flickering did continue in to the second act but the projections did help in locating the scenes and this did help make the second act feel tighter on the whole. 

Similarly on this opening performance lighting and sound cues were missed. It did make things feel a little under rehearsed in terms of the technical side of the production. I’ve no doubt that the scene changes and technical elements will become slicker as the week goes on.

Ultimately this is a fun production that delivers this tale of love and finding yourself with great heart. It may not all be perfect but the hard work and dedication that has gone into it is admirable. It’s always wonderful to see local talent giving their all to bring a show to life.

Legally Blonde by LOPS plays at The Little Theatre in Leicester until Saturday 20th April 2024. Tickets remain but are limited for some performances. Visit https://www.thelittletheatre.co.uk/ to book.

Photo by Poyner and Mee.


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