Review: Legally Blonde The Musical, The Children’s Theatre Company Ipwich, New Wolsey Theatre, to July 23

The Children's Theatre Company Ipswich stage Legally Blonde The Musical at The New Wolsey Theatre, J

The Children's Theatre Company Ipswich stage Legally Blonde The Musical at The New Wolsey Theatre, July 20-23. Photos: Mike Kwasniak - Credit: Archant

If you’re looking for a fun night out, what you want is right in front of you, front of you.

The Children's Theatre Company Ipswich stage Legally Blonde The Musical at The New Wolsey Theatre, J

The Children's Theatre Company Ipswich stage Legally Blonde The Musical at The New Wolsey Theatre, July 20-23. Photos: Mike Kwasniak - Credit: Archant

Familiar with the Reese Witherspoon movie but not the short-lived stage show, the latter’s a frothy affair that licks along at such a pace you’re left breathless just watching. The songs, especially What You Want, are really catchy.

The Children's Theatre Company Ipswich stage Legally Blonde The Musical at The New Wolsey Theatre, J

The Children's Theatre Company Ipswich stage Legally Blonde The Musical at The New Wolsey Theatre, July 20-23. Photos: Mike Kwasniak - Credit: Archant

If you’ve seen either you’ll know this isn’t highbrow drama. Shallow sorority queen Elle Woods is dumped and in a misguided attempt to win her ex back heads to Harvard Law School where she finds her true self; tackling stereotypes, snobbery and scandal along the way.

That’s not to say the main players are two dimensional characters you can’t root for.

Released for a short period, the ctc were really pleased to get the rights despire stiff competition from other companies in the area. Overall they’ve done a really good job. The direction, staging and challenging choreography were strong. Full use was made of the stage and the rapid-fire scene changes went, for the most part, surprisingly smoothly.

The cast’s hard work in the rehearsal room showed, bursting on stage full of excitement. I think their enthusiasm ocassionally got the better of them, leading to a few first night fumbles.

There were obvious stand-outs. Livvy Campbell-Barr as salon owner Paulette had a belting voice and strong comedic delivery. Charlotte Etherington, Saffron Hewitt and Beth Hurry as Delta Nu girls Margot, Serena and Pilar were sassier and sharper than their film counterparts. Charlie Leggett as delivery man Kyle was a crowd favourite. A man of few words, the only things tighter than his lips were his shorts.

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Rarely off stage, Sammy Stringer, in her first lead role, brought added depth to the part of Elle and had good chemistry with Josh Day as new love interest Emmett.

Despite the fluffy feel, there were some edgy numbers like Blood in the Water and the wholly inappropriate, raucous riot that is Gay or European.

This never reached the emotional highs of previous shows like Les Miserables or Westside Story. It’s not meant to. This was full on cheese, done well. If loving that is a crime then I’m guilty.

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Wayne Savage

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