Review by Kathryn Hayden.
Photography by Robert Workman.
Purchase your tickets online: www.atgtickets.com/Liverpool
I’m pretty sure almost everyone has seen the film (I know I have at least 6 times) so it’s quite exciting that this new UK tour of the smash-hit Broadway and West End musical is on until Saturday at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre.
I’ll begin by congratulating UK Productions Ltd on their brilliant casting of EastEnders’ Rita Simons as Paulette Bonafonté and Lucie Jones as Elle Woods. Both are absolutely outstanding and there’s such a marvellous chemistry between them.
The star cast also includes Coronation Street and Emmerdale’s Bill Ward who plays a very convincing Professor Callahan and his portrayal is very true to the film.
If you’re one of the few who don’t know the story, Elle (Lucie Jones) thinks her boyfriend Warner Huntington II (Liam Doyle) is going to propose and prepares manically for it only to find out he is dumping her before he heads for Harvard Law School where he’s sure he’ll find someone who is much more suitable for him and who will be accepted readily into his family.
Devastated, Elle decides to hit the books so she can join him and he’s very surprised to see her there along with her dog Bruiser (Bruisey Williams-Dodd). In fact, Warner has already found himself a new girlfriend in Vivienne Kensington (Laura Harrison). Vivienne is quite mean to Elle and even invites her to a party telling her it’s a costume party when it isn’t. But Elle can’t be undermined and stays true to herself.
She sets out to show them what she’s made of and to prove herself to Professor Callahan and starts to realise she really can become a great lawyer. She manages to get on to the team who will manage the case of Brooke Wyndham (Helen Petrovna). Brooke is the famous fitness instructor accused of murdering her billionaire husband.
I must pause here to mention the skipping exercise routine. She does this whilst belting out a song and barely breaks a sweat. Anyone who’s ever skipped knows it’s a killer yet she’s not even breathless. It’s totally awe inspiring to say the least.
Brooke shares her alibi with Elle but swears her to secrecy which infuriates the Professor and the rest of the legal team. However, Elle eventually wins the case and it’s all thanks to her previous life experience of hair and beauty treatments!
Elle also meets Paulette (Rita Simons) at a nail salon near Harvard. Paulette has a major crush on the Irish UPS Guy Kyle played brilliantly by Ben Harlow and is unable to string a sentence together when he’s around. Elle and friends teach her the legendary ‘bend-and-snap’ move which results in hilarious consequences. Paulette also had a husband/boyfriend that made her move out after he found someone else and he kept her dog Rufus. With Elle’s help, she faces her fears and between them they manage to get Rufus (Arnie) back. Adorable as he is, he doesn’t seem that keen to be on the stage but it’s obvious he’s very loved by the cast who take good care of him. Paulette is also very obsessed with Ireland and we’re treated to some fabulous Irish dancing from the cast.
Elle eventually realises that Warner isn’t the guy for her and falls for lovable geek Emmett (David Barrett) which gives her the perfect happy ending.
The full cast deserve a mention and include Nancy Hill (Enid), Rebecca Stenhouse (Margot), Delycia Belgrave (Pilar), Rachel Grundy (Serena), Lucyelle Cliffe (Elle’s Mom), Rosie Needham (Kate Chutney), Alexandra Wright (Leilana), Sally Frith (Gaelen), Mark Peachey (Elle’s Dad/Winthrop/Dewey), Michael Hamway (Aaron), Felipe Bejarano (Sundeep/Nikos), Brett Shiels (Grand Master Chad), Connor Collins (Carlos), Emma Prosser (Swing), Craig Tyler (Swing)
It truly is an all singing, all dancing romantic comedy that you can’t fail to enjoy. It’s also very pink! You’ll understand what I mean when you go to watch it. Tip: Don’t leave before the finale; it’s well worth waiting for.
Tuesday 5th – Saturday 9th June
Tue – Sat evenings 7.30pm, Wed & Sat matinees 2.30pm
Tickets from £12. Available from: