Behind the scenes at ‘Legally Blonde the Musical’
Opera House, Manchester
18 – 29 October 2011
It’s not often you get an invite that makes you run around the office with excitement but I must confess I did just that after receiving my invite to a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of ‘Legally Blonde the Musical’.
The hit show tours our fair city in October and I was given a sneaky peak of what to expect by visiting their rehearsals in London, interviewing the cast and then seeing the West End production. So, in the name of research, I made my way to the ‘Big Smoke’ to see what we could expect in a couple of month’s time…
When I got there I was able to sit in on rehearsals for the tour-the cast were in their 3rd week of a 5 week run before they hit the road and it was incredible to see them at work. The young and passionate director’s attention to detail was second to none and it was totally mesmerising to see everything coming together before my eyes.
I have to say there was a LOT of leg-warmers in the room and so many good looking young people! I felt like I should have been sat there in a FAME t-shirt sporting a funky hairdo and donning my fake eyelashes…instead I was in a sensible smart top feeling very old.
The enthusiasm of the cast was electric and also infectious, it’s easy to believe that they are all having the best time ever. Manchester is in for a real treat as, after watching the show later that day, I came out smiling and humming the tunes all the way from Euston back to Piccadilly Station.
For those of you not in the know Legally Blonde the Musical is based on the hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon, which centres on college sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods. When the ‘pink loving’ princess gets dumped by her boyfriend Warner for someone ‘serious’ Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books, and heads for Harvard Law School accompanied by her loveable Chihuahua, Bruiser.
Legally Blonde The Musical has won numerous gongs since it first opened on Broadway, including Best New Musical in the Whatsonstage.com Awards 2011 and Best New Musical, Best New Actress for Sheridan Smith and Best Supporting Role in a Musical for co-star Jill Halfpenny at this year’s Oliviers. The touring cast is led by Flixton-born Faye Brookes (Grease in the West End), Iwan Lewis (Fame in the West End, Passion at The Donmar Warehouse), Neil Toon (Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, Les Misérables in the West End) and Dave Willetts (Les Misérables, Phantom of The Opera, Sunset Boulevard all in the West End).It’s great to see Manchester making it’s mark on the musical theatre scene and us Northerners getting the chance to see some amazing West End productions coming our way; Sister Act and Dirty Dancing are scheduled at the Opera House and Palace Theatre later this year.