Theatre Royal, Norwich
Saturday 3rd March 2012
With the West End run at the Savoy coming to an end next month, the feel-good, energetic, pink and blonde musical is on a "Road Trip!".
Full of catchy songs, big dance routines, and sparkling script writing, this show captures the audience from the opening number. Fans of the original film are not disappointed - the storyline follows the same plot, and all the original characters get a musical makeover, including (to a chorus of ahhs) Bruiser the chihuahua.
This tour's blonde-bombshell Elle Woods is being played by fresh-faced Faye Brookes, who shows unfailing stamina, as she is rarely off the stage. She is smiley, engaging, witty and eminently likeable, with a wonderfully maintained stength to her beautiful voice.
Her early and subsequent love interests, Warner and Emmett respectively, are strong supports. Warner is being played by Ray Quinn in the tour, although we saw his understudy, a very confident performance with just the right amount of arrogance. Emmett (Iwan Lewis) is a much more loveable character, played wide-eyed and entirely laid-back, with a strong, clear singing voice.
Harvard lecturer Professor Callaghan, is being played by Les Dennis. This popular show seems to no longer rely on the draw of a "name", but I see no other reason for having cast Dennis in this crucial role. An all-round poor performance, made more of a shame when you consider what a great part this could be in which to cast a stalwart of professional musical theatre, rather than simply a celebrity.
However, no matter what your theatrical taste, I defy anyone to see this show and not leave with a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Omigod!