Legally Blonde star Sheridan Smith to stay with the hit show, plus a new cast joins from 25 October including Denise Van Outen, Siobhan Dillon and Carley Stenson.

Sheridan Smith

The gorgeous, multi-talented star of Legally Blonde, has decided to extend her run in the show at the Savoy Theatre in London.

Sheridan Smith had originally announced her departure from the Broadway musical on Twitter and was scheduled to leave on 23 October 2010, but will now continue in the lead role until 9 January 2011.

Sheridan Smith said in a statement that, “I absolutely love playing Elle Woods, it’s been one of the highlights of my career so far, and I’m thrilled that the audiences love the show as much as I do.  When (producer) Sonia Friedman asked me to stay for a little bit longer, I couldn’t resist the thought of a pink, chihuahua filled Christmas!”

A new cast will also join the show from 25 October, including Denise Van Outen taking over from Jill Halfpenny as hairdresser Paulette, and Siobhan Dillon and Hollyoaks star Carley Stenson.

Van Outen, who is married to Lee Mead (Wicked), has appeared in numerous musicals including Tell Me on a Sunday, Rent: Remixed, Chicago and Les Miserables.

Siobhan Dillon, who will play Vivienne, came to prominence after appearing in TV talent show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, and has performed in Grease in the West End. Carley Stenson will star as Margot, and is best known for playing Steph Cunningham in Hollyoaks. This will be her West End stage debut.

The comedy musical, which opened in January this year, is based on the movie starring Reese Witherspoon about college sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods (Sheridan Smith), who goes all out to prove to her ex-boyfriend Warner (Richard Fleeshman) that she’s more than just a dumb blonde – by joining him at Harvard Law School.

Sheridan Smith is best known for her award-winning TV roles including Two Pints of Lager & A Packet of Crisps, Grown Ups, Love Soup, Benidorm and Gavin and Stacey. Stage roles include Into the Woods at the Donmar Warehouse, Audrey in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Little Shop of Horrors and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew at the Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park.

Sheridan recently performed in a workshop version of a new musical based on Helen Fielding’s book Bridget Jones’s Diary, with music by Lily Allen, fuelling rumours that she may be up for a role in the show. Stephen Daldry, director of the film and stage version of  Billy Elliot, will helm the project if it goes ahead. The show would also reunite Daldry with producers of the Bridget Jones and Billy Elliot films and stage shows Working Title Films, plus choreographer Peter Darling.

Other cast starting in the show from 25 October include Stephane Anelli (Padamadan, Nikos), Emma Bateman (Stenographer), Thomas Camilleri (Carlos), Chris Ellis-Stanton (Grandmaster Chad, Dewey, Kyle), Kimmy Edwards (Judge, Saleswoman), Ibinabo Jack (Pilar), Suzie McAdam (Enid), Andy Mace (Dad, Winthrop, Reporter), Susan McFadden (Serena), Sorelle Marsh (Courtney, Mom, Whitney), Aoife Mulholland (Brooke), Sean Mulligan (Pforzheimer), Dawn Sievewright (Kate, Chutney), Robbie Towns (Aaron), Dominic Tribuzio (Kiki), Tamara Wall (District Attorney) and Stephen Webb (Lowell), as well as Jonathan Mawson, Jane McMurtrie, Lucy Miller, Ruthie Stephenson and Gregor Stewart as swings.

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LEGALLY BLONDE CAST RECORDING

The London cast recording of Legally Blonde The Musical, which was recorded live at the Savoy Theatre, was released last week by First Night Records and is doing brisk business.

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