Legally Blonde The Musical, Upstairs at the Gatehouse, review: ‘Quirky and energetic’
- Credit: Archant
This lovely, funny musical is a highlight of north London’s Christmas calendar, says Aline Waites.
One of the most delightful Christmas events of the year is Ovation’s annual musical production at the Gatehouse.
This year it is Legally Blonde a musical based on the MGM movie starring Reece Witherspoon which had its West End production a few years ago with Sheridan Smith in the lead.
So on her very first professional production, Abbie Chambers has a lot to live up to. But with the advantage of stunning blondness, a pretty soprano voice and vibrantly pink gear she is every inch the sorority queen Elle Woods and she really makes the role her own.
Elle is dumped by her boyfriend Warner who wants someone more serious. She follows him to Harvard Law School, putting up with ridicule from the professor and other students and meeting Warner’s new brunette fiancée, Vivienne. In a bid to be taken more seriously, Elle decides to dye her hair and calls on hairdresser Paulette.
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Even if there were no other reason for seeing this show, it is worth it to witness the performance of Jodie Jacobs as the Ireland obsessed hairdresser Paulette and her serious flirtation with Kyle the delivery boy. Played by Chris Durtnal looking hunky in his brown shorts offset by his solemn demeanour Kyle is incredibly funny and drives Paulette crazy with lust.
There is some quirky and energetic choreography by Anthony Whiteman, a strange Greek-inspired set and excellent costuming by Isobel Power all given full value by Sam Waddington – Lighting designer.
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The only slight problem is the sound system which makes the sorority chorus at the beginning sound very shrill. This will no doubt be sorted as the play goes on.
It is a lovely. very funny musical perfectly put together by John Plews.