Review: Lucie Jones’ bend and snap impresses on opening night as Legally Blonde earns standing ovation

PUBLISHED: 09:12 03 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 October 2017

Lucie Jonles and Rita Simons in Paulette's hair salon. Picture: Robert Workman

Lucie Jonles and Rita Simons in Paulette's hair salon. Picture: Robert Workman

© Robert Workman

Rogue dog appearances, outrageous cheerleader costumes and hilarious musical numbers were all part of the charm as Legally Blonde made its debut at The Bristol Hippodrome last night (Monday) and had the audience on their feet.

This feel-good musical stars former X Factor finalist Lucie Jones and former Eastenders star Rita Simons and the two female characters were the stars of the show in what was a loveable show.

The musical is based on the popular 2001 film which starred Reese Witherspoon. It follows the story of blonde bombshell Elle Woods who is left heartbroken after the love of her life Warner breaks her heart before he plans to attend Harvard.

But, what does Elle do? Go to Harvard of course.

And there she embarks on a hilarious and touching journey to success – and finally finds love.

Helen Petrovna as Brooke Wyndham. Picture: Robert WorkmanHelen Petrovna as Brooke Wyndham. Picture: Robert Workman

She meets loveable Paulette, played by Simons, and Emmett Forrest, played by David Barrett, along the way and their eccentric characters mean you are rooting for them throughout.

Now, I will confess, I am a huge Legally Blonde fan and having worked at a theatre I have seen the show probably close to a dozen times. But, for me, it never gets old.

It is over the top and that is what I love about it. The songs are catchy (I have no shame in saying I know the words to all of them) and they also show off the talented actors’ voices.

Jones was exceptional as Woods and showed she can act as well as sing. But, one of the best moments of the show was off-script. Paulette’s dog Rufus came onto the stage unexpectedly and pandemonium ensued.

Rita Simons as Paulette and Ben Harlow as hunky UPS guy Kyle. Picture: Robert WorkmanRita Simons as Paulette and Ben Harlow as hunky UPS guy Kyle. Picture: Robert Workman

The audience and cast were in stitches and it made this light-hearted show even better.

But, the stand out moment for me is the song Gay Or European. I will always remember the first time I saw that number and it still had me in stiches this time.

I will not ruin it for anyone, but believe me, it is worth waiting for in the second act.

Barrett had a tough job to impress me before he took to the stage. I am a hopeless romantic and have always loved Emmett’s awkward but loveable character. However, he did and so much so I wanted to hear his voice on my CD on the way to work this morning.

Bill Ward played Professor Callahan. Picture: Robert WorkmanBill Ward played Professor Callahan. Picture: Robert Workman

His vocals were pure and the chemistry he had with Jones was second to none.

Simons also showed off her wealth of talents and with Paulette always being there for Elle, she was one to watch.

Her excellent portrayal meant she got one of the biggest cheers of the night — along with the gorgeous UPS guy, of course.

Songs such as So Much Better and Take It Like A Man will have everyone singing along by the end and it is show which is well worth seeing and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Liam Doyle played Warner Huntington III. Picture: Robert WorkmanLiam Doyle played Warner Huntington III. Picture: Robert Workman

The show will be at Bristol Hippodrome from tonight (Tuesday) until Saturday at 7.30pm each evening and 2.30pm tomorrow (Wednesday) and Saturday.

Tickets, priced £15-52, are available via www.atgtickets.com/bristol or by calling 08448 717627.

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