Review: Legally Blonde The Musical UK Tour - Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Omigod you guys we're in Glasgow!

The hotly anticipated Legally Blonde has arrived in town to bring some bright pink to the grey Glasgow summer. Energetic, fun and delightful there is a lot to love about this musical. When Backstage Pass reviewed the London production in April we said that if you need a pick-me-up, a night out with the girls (or boys!), or simply to forget the workaday world for a while then Legally Blonde is the place to be and the tour is certainly continuing that message, bringing it all over the UK arriving at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow this week before heading to the Edinburgh Playhouse from 6th September.

Photo by Johan Persson

The sweetest of treats, Legally Blonde is certainly making its mark on Glasgow with special custom cocktails available and Bruiser’s pink paw prints leading the way to the theatre. Many of last night’s audience were fans of the show, already decked out in the show’s merchandise and keen to see the musical in their home city. Glasgow's theatres are unquestionably having an amazing 2011, attracting shows of excellent calibre and this is no exception to the rule.

Faye Brooks is perfectly cast as the blonde heroine Elle Woods. Her outstanding vocal range, sunny characterisation and uncanny resemblance to Elle in the original film, Reece Witherspoon, results in a performance that is sure to delight fans of the film and musical alike. Iwan Lewis brings real personality to Emmett Forrest and his subtle character choices highlight the deep connection between Emmett and Elle beautifully. Their chemistry is undeniable and results in a very credible pairing.

Liz McClarnon shows her musical theatre chops playing a wonderfully hilarious Paulette Buonufonté while Dave Willetts brings a much-needed dark edge to Professor Callahan’s character. His more menacing character choices really strengthen a role that can easily be lost. A notable mention is due to Jon Reynolds who is positively scene-stealing as Kiki in Paulette’s salon – watch out for his pink Ugg-style boots!

Photo by Johan Persson

Opening night in a new theatre is not without its challenges and for Legally Blonde this included the more normal missed lighting cues and the less predictable issue of a Bruiser seemingly overcome with a case of puppy stage fright. The production is the little sister of its original London counterpart and with London already a scaled down version of the Broadway production, this is an even slimmer version.

The Deltu Nu sorority house has, understandably, been cut and the stage is noticeably overcrowded during one or two of larger full-company, up-tempo numbers such as What You Want. Space is always at a premium for touring productions but there’s a fine line between a stage appearing full and crowded. The lack of set in some scenes has also resulted in some clumsy staging decisions that could benefit from further polishing.

Even though this is a slightly slimline version this is definitely a production that's not to be missed. Well done to Ambassadors Theatre Group for having the good sense to take this on tour while the show is still delighting crowds at the Savoy Theatre in London. It's a real treat for regional audiences to have access to brilliant West End shows in their local theatres. Long may this trend continue.

Wed 24 Aug – Sat 3 September
Mon - Sat eves 7.30pm
Thurs & Sat matinees 2.30pm

Box Office 08448 717 648 (Bkg fee) (bkg fee)
Tickets bought in person at the theatre box office do not carry a booking fee.