12th July 2019
Assembly Rooms, Bolsover
Type of Production
Donna Knowles; Co-Director James Sheppard
Bethany Thomas, Gabrielle Walker
Author: Joyce Handbury
The musical is based on the novel Legally Blonde and the 2001 film of the same name. It tells the story of Elle Woods, a fashion merchandising student and a member of Delta Nu sorority, who is totally heartbroken after being dumped by her boyfriend so he can get serious about his life and attend Harvard Law School. Elle realises that she too must become more serious if she is to get him back and, against all odds, wins a place at Harvard where she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. The crucial and demanding role of Elle was superbly and delightfully played by Grace Randall. She acted and sang the role with great confidence and vivacity whilst managing to show the characters vulnerability perfectly. Grace wore some stunning outfits non more so than the exquisite and sexy ‘bunny outfit’ that definitely had the ‘wow’ factor! It was an outstanding performance from one so young. Three other strong female supporting performances came from Katie Watkins as Paulette, a love-lorn Hair Salon owner, Maddy Sutton as Brooke, a fitness instructor charged with murder and Lydia North as Vivienne, a stuck up, smart law student. Katie Watkins was simply great as the quirky hairdresser, she has excellent comic timing and her antics were just so funny - loved the delivery of ‘Ireland’ and her ‘seductive’ scenes with the UPS delivery man, well played by Cohan Wildgoose, were hilarious. ‘Whipped into Shape’ was terrifically sung by Maddy Sutton whilst delivering a strenuous skipping routine and Lydia North was poised, assertive and very self-assured as Vivienne. The main Delta Nu sorority sisters, who popped up so many times and in so many different and lovely costumes, were splendidly played by Isabelle Corbett (Margot), Mia Hodgson (Serena) and Abigail Hill Brown (Pilar) and were admirably assisted by the other Delta Nu’s - Shannon Bainbridge, Olivia Corbett, Olivia Jaffray, Bethany Thomas and Gabrielle Walker. Their many dance routines were all well choreographed and executed as were those in the numerous ensemble numbers. Gareth Elvidge excelled as Emmett, he has such a natural and easy stage presence that was just perfect for this quite sensitive and caring role. Jared Higgins was charming as the opinionated ex-boyfriend Warner and Jack Wilson, without being too bombastic, commanded the stage as the pompous, calculating and charismatic Callahan. Great support came from fellow students Gaia Hobson-Pearce (Enid), Matthew Alsop and Karin Peterson and from the twenty three other cast members that were students, Greek Chorus, Defense Team, Salon and Parade Folks and I must not forget Sammy, who was so endearing as Bruiser, Elle’s dog. It was a lovely set, in-house designed and constructed by Chris Peck, Ken Radmore and Mick Whitehouse and beautifully decorated by Scenic Artists Andrew and Sabina Aucock. Props were first-rate and the excellent stage crew were kept extremely busy during this very bitty show. Costumes, lighting and sound were fine but I did feel that sometimes the backing tracks that were used gave very little assistance to the solo singers in helping them to find the right pitch. The whole production was full of fun and most entertainingly delivered by a totally energetic, hard-working and enthusiastic cast. It isn’t easy for young people to play adult roles and they certainly pulled it off, so all I can say is ‘Omigod You Guys’, you did it! Many congratulations to everyone involved.