Reviews are in for the London revival of Legally Blonde at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
Running until 2 July 2022, the production stars Courtney Bowman (SIX, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, The Wind in the Willows) as the central character Elle Woods.
The cast also features Michael Ahomka-Lindsay as Emmett, Lauren Drew as Brooke, Vanessa Fisher as Vivienne, Isaac Hesketh as Margot, Nadine Higgin as Paulette, Alžbeta Matyšáková as Enid, Eugene McCoy as Callahan, Grace Mouat as Pilar, Alistair Toovey as Warner, and Hannah Yun Chamberlain as Serena.
Legally Blonde is directed by Lucy Moss (SIX), with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, and a book by Heather Hach, based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the MGM movie.
Read the round-up of reviews for Legally Blonde The Musical below.
Legally Blonde The Musical reviews
"Impossible not to have fun"
"It’s a statement piece with a generously Gen-Z approach that celebrates diversity of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and body shape."
"Mostly the unrestrained approach adds to the show’s inherent silliness, but sometimes it makes things look a little sloppy. The set design featuring tassels of blonde hair hanging in fringes is an ugly backdrop, with clunky chunks of set that fold or roll out of a central revolve."
"A fizzy, fun musical night out reinvented for 2022"
"This fizzy, fun, candyfloss-pink musical night out carries a message of tolerance and inclusion."
"Though reimagined and reinvented for contemporary sensibilities, the show sometimes falls foul of current events"
"But none of this is Moss’s fault and the exuberance of her production largely steamrollers over quibbles."
"It’s weird, visually striking and basically pretty funny"
"this revival of ‘Legally Blonde’ feels less like an update of the 2007 musical, more like a bizarre fever dream about it."
"It’s weird, visually striking and basically pretty funny, but I found it very difficult to get a handle on it emotionally."
"Bowman’s Elle seems like a kook adrift in her own peculiar pink reality, cosplaying the role of the ditzy fashion marketing student who uses her business smarts to follow Warner to Harvard Law School, rather than being an active participant in her own story."
"after a first half so singularly unafraid to do its own thing that I was mostly sat gawping in vague, is-this-really-happening befuddlement, the second felt more exposing of the shortcomings of both director and the musical itself."
"Joyously camp revamp is in the pink"
"An overhaul of the original’s gender politics, plenty of Gen-Z touchpoints and a big dollop of kitsch make this musical an irresistible cocktail"
"Bowman gives an incredibly strong performance, although Nadine Higgin, as the salon worker, Paulette, nearly steals her thunder with her raunchy magnetism and powerful voice."
"This is a tongue-in-cheek production that comes with a megawattage of kitsch and to some degree sends up the genre of the high-school musical. Characters are pancake flat, reaching beyond stereotype into cartoonishness"
"Campness dominates, with nasal American high-school accents, teenage squeals and deliberate overacting."
"Go with an open mind and you’ll be blown away"
"Moss has repackaged the show in a way that brings it bang up to date without sacrificing its joie de vivre."
"Laura Hopkins’s set isn’t easy on the eye. What I take to be an attempt to evoke a backdrop of straw-like tresses ends up looking like a beach hut after a night of hard partying by the Downing Street posse."
"The updated musical version of the popular film challenges preconceived notions about the protagonist’s appearance"
"Bowman, as might be expected, has embraced Moss’s willingness to break with preconceived notions of Elle and has responded to the challenge with a sweet and stirring performance that asks the audience to question what it means to be blonde."
"Bowman charms throughout in a casting gamble that pays off. “I had to find my way,” Elle says at the end, and you have to commend a theater culture that has led this performer to this role, even if Bowman, too, has probably had to navigate unpleasantness in the process. As Elle could have told her, determination and talent, happily, can win the day."