Legally Blonde The Musical has beauty and brains

By Lindsay Thomson

Photo Above: Legally Blonde Musical Act © Festival and King’s Theatres Edinburgh

Legally Blonde the Musical kicked off its Edinburgh run on Monday night at the Festival Theatre.

The stage musical adaptation of the 2001 Reese Witherspoon comedy follows the fortunes of the idealistic Elle Woods (Lucie Jones) as she seeks to earn a law degree and the heart of her beloved Warner Huntington III (Liam Doyle).

Former X Factor finalist Jones shines as the effervescent Elle, who leaves behind her comfortable life as president of UCLA’s Delta Nu sorority to follow Warner to Harvard Law School after he dumps her in favour of someone more serious.

Photo Above: Lucie Jones © Festival and King’s Theatres Edinburgh

When Elle arrives at Harvard, she finds herself out of her depth  until she befriends teaching assistant Emmett Forrest (David Barrett) and beautician Paulette Bonafonté (Rita Simons).

Simons is hilarious as Paulette, making the role her own rather than attempting to imitate Jennifer Coolidge’s portrayal of the character in the film version.

With Emmett’s guidance, Elle earns herself a internship working with the ruthless Professor Callahan, played with aplomb by Bill Ward, who perfectly captures the criminal law lecturer’s shark-like demeanour.

While working together to defend fitness guru Brooke Wyndham (Helen Petrovna), who has been accused of murdering her billionaire husband, Elle and Emmett grow closer and help each other to realise that there is more to the world than they thought.

When Elle has a crisis of confidence and considers quitting, Paulette and her classmates manage to talk her round by helping her to realise that the problem isn’t with her, but with the serious person she’s been pretending to be.

Elle embraces her true self, realising that wearing solemn dark clothes and thinking inside the box isn’t for her. She dons her bright pink dress and heads back into court, determined to make sure Brooke is acquitted.

With a little initiative, Elle manages to solve the case and win the day, realising that: “being true to yourself never goes out of style!”

Legally Blonde the Musical will be at the Festival Theatre until Saturday 2 December.

Make sure you check it out: it would be criminal to miss it!