3-4 June 2016
Reviewed by Sandra McGhee
It was with great pleasure to be invited to review last night’s community performance of Legally Blonde the Musical presented by DAOS at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable. As soon as I entered the theatre lobby I could predict already what kind of evening was in store as the reception foyer was full of joyous people who were all in good spirits eager to watch and support a local performance. As soon as we took our seats I looked around and there weren’t many spare seats at all, so all in all a great opening night of support.
Legally Blonde the Musical is an international award-winning musical based on the movie starring Reece Witherspoon where it earned 7 Tony nominations during it’s time on Broadway. The musical came to the West End in 2010 and won The Best Musical award.
DAOS are the first amateur group locally to perform this show and the first time for the show to visit The Grove Theatre. I’ve been very fortunate to have seen a previous show by DAOS this time last year (Hairspray) and was very impressed back then so it was obvious there would be no disappointment. Last night’s show though really was something else, so much incredible hard work and commitment was put in. Angela Goss did a fantastic job directing this fun-filled musical and there’s no doubt a lot of rehearsing took place to deliver such an excellent musical which was of very high class. What a fantastic opening night with standing ovation at the end, so much laughter and comedy throughout the show.
You do not necessarily need to have seen the movie to appreciate the show but a small bonus. The show brings the message you should never judge a book by its cover.
Legally Blonde is the story of college sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods who transforms from typical stereotype dumb blonde. Her world is turned upside-down when her boyfriend dumps her. Elle then follows him and makes her way into Harvard Law.
Helen Harris played Elle convincingly brilliant like all other cast members including Simon Rollings, Justin Jeffrey, Lucy O’Hare, Katie Barton, Helen Maile, Matthew Clothier, Kirsty Day, Chloe Badham, Gemma Troughton (first performance at the Grove so should be very proud to be part of such a great musical) and James Halling and many many more to mention. All cast members were a good mix of high calibre talent and should all be very proud along with all members of the Creative Team.
Both Act 1 & 2 illustrated by all cast members performed Legally Blonde so well. The costumes were spot on and so much thought had gone in here, down to orange prison clothing. There were over 30 scene changes very impressive indeed, ranging from shower scenes, hair salon, restaurant, courtroom and department store. The Stage Manager, Katy Elliott should be congratulated on delivering such perfect make-believe in convincing the audience. Each act was cleverly put together and the cast did a great job, singing, dancing and cracking jokes. Every cast member had so much energy especially the fantastic dancers. James Halling certainly shook up the show playing the UPS delivery guy.
The musicians should not be forgotten, directed by Chris Young, Chairman of DAOS. Last but not least let’s not forget the two dogs who joined a few scenes also and were very well behaved.
A fantastic night’s entertainment. I wouldn’t hesitate seeing any show produced by DAOS whose forthcoming production at the Grove will be Sister Act (May 2017) I will certainly be marking that in my calendar.
Further shows: Saturday 4th June – 2:30 & 7.30pm
Tickets cost from £16.50 to £18.50 (booking fees may apply).
Legally Blonde the Musical is at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable until 4 June 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01582 602080.
Grove Theatre, Grove Park, Court Drive, Dunstable, LU5 4GP | 01582 602080