Legally Blonde the Musical
Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
Cast: Courtney Bowman, Michael Ahomka-Lindsay, Nadine Higgin, Lauren Drew, Hannah Yun Chamberlain, Vanessa Fisher, Isaac Hesketh, Eugene McCoy, Alistair Toovey, Grace Mouat and Alžbeta Matyšáková

Meet fashion merchandising major Elle Woods and her college sweetheart Warner Huntington III. Popular, stylish, they have the perfect relationship. That is until Warner heads to Harvard Law School and decides that he needs a more 'serious' kind of girlfriend. Dumped, Elle embarks on a drastic plan to win him back. But, on the way, she discovers that there's more to love - and definitely Elle Woods - than meets the eye. 

Omigod you guys - I was lucky enough to attend the first preview of the new adaptation of Legally Blonde the Musical. I don't usually do reviews of shows while they're still in previews (particularly the first one), but I'm not sure when I'll be back and I needed to share my thoughts of a musical I've been so desperate to see again in London. Because I'm reviewing this much earlier than usual, when the show officially opens - there may be several changes to the production.

As you enter Regent's Park, there's nothing besides a small poster to let you know that Legally Blonde is playing at the Open Air Theatre. However, when you enter the venue - you venture into a sea of pink. From the bar, to the pizza place; everywhere is decked out in pink. You can even buy Legally Blonde cocktails - £10.95 each for Bend & Schnapps or OMG&T (obsessed with the names). I would also advise getting there early, as we were queuing for twenty minutes.

I was sat in row F near the centre, but it's worth noting that I think the view would be great from anywhere in this venue. The set looks very simplistic when you walk in. More pink, and very strange curtains. I heard many people discussing the curtain choice; and it wouldn't surprise me if this was changed soon. However, visually - I didn't mind it. My only issue is that the props seemed to get repeatedly caught up in it, which detracted from the performance at times.

While the set is bare and minimalistic, the use of props and staging is executed brilliantly. From a salon, to a sorority party, to law school - all portrayed excellently with the lighting, costumes and props. You blink and Elle has changed costume once again, and almost every one is loud, proud...and pink

Let's talk about Courtney Bowman. Never has anyone shone as brightly as Elle Woods. Her voice is spectacular and she completely embodies Elle. "Legally Blonde" was her standout performance for me, vocally. Her ditzy naivety is captured perfectly in this adaption. I saw a few comments about her wig (which I didn't mind), but I've seen in curtain call photos that her wig has changed already.

The soundtrack has always been one of my favourite, so I was excited to see some of my favourite musical theatre songs being performed on stage again. There were a few outstanding performances for me. Lauren Drew's "Whipped Into Shape" was nothing short of exceptional. It's hard to imagine anyone can exercise like that, while belting - but she does it, seemingly effortlessly. Other standout moments for me were Nadine Higgin's "Ireland", Michael Ahomka-Lindsay's "Chip on My Shoulder", "Gay or European" (major Dead Gay Son vibes from Heathers the Musical), "Bend and Snap" (goes without saying!) and Billy Nevers' solo in "What You Want". I loved Billy in & Juliet, so it was fantastic to see him shine in Legally Blonde.

A special mention must go to Liam McEvoy, who plays Bruiser. Yes, he really does play a chihuahua. He's absolutely hilarious, and somehow manages to portray a sassy dog flawlessly

If you're wondering if there has been any changes to the adaptation - there has! There's been a few updates to the script to modernise it. With such a diverse cast, I think it was very much needed

I hope to see the show again and write another review with any updates to the show since the first preview. But besides a few small issues like the fluidity of set changes - it was nothing short of sensational. The cast are exceptional. Courtney Bowman is a superb leading lady, and I can't wait to see what she does next.

If you want to see a feel-good show, that'll leave you smiling throughout - I would highly recommend Legally Blonde. The soundtrack is a lot of fun, and the talent on stage will blow your mind. The ideal Summer production. 

You can buy tickets to Legally Blonde the Musical at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre until 2nd July, here.

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