The Prickle (@ThePrickle) June 19, 2018
The 2007 Broadway musical adaptation of the 2001 movie was a smash hit on the West End, running for three years and winning three Olivier awards. This flat-pack touring production lacks the astronomical budget of the original, but thanks to a phenomenal book (Heather Hach), music and lyrics (Laurence O’Keefe, Nell Benjamin), we still get the all-pink sugar rush we crave.
Director Anthony Williams is the executive director for all U.K. Productions pantomimes, and it shows. Reinventing the sugary love story as a pure cartoon is a little bit lazy, but it still makes sense of the material, about an airhead blonde making it to Harvard Law School. Warped perspective in the painted designs (Jon Harris, Jason Bishop, David Shields) and feverish technicolour lighting (New Milsom) take us straight into panto territory.
The enormous cast of over twenty (including dogs) is phenomenal. Lucie Jones (Eurovision 2017) reprises the lead role of Elle Woods from the celebrated Leicester Curve production, and knocks it out of the park vocally. The ensemble really shines, with showstopping dance numbers, including a jaw-dropping skip-rope routine with exercise queen Brooke Wyndham (Helen Petrovna).
The entire audience was on their feet long before the encore Legally Blonde megamix, with the entire cast dressed in glittery pink Harvard graduation outfits. Yes, it’s that kind of a show. Maybe too cheesy for some, but — to extend the metaphor — for those who came with fondue forks, it’s a feast.
Playing in Wimbledon until 23 June 2018.