By Katie Chalk, First Year English & History
MTB Presents: Legally Blonde! The opening night of Music Theatre Bristol's dynamic production of Legally Blonde! was one of impressive talent, infectious energy and joyful escapism.
The musical, directed by Ru Wormington and produced by Ben White, follows stunning sorority sweetheart Elle Woods, played sensationally by Catt Hurman, from California to Harvard Law school as she pursues her ex boyfriend Warner (James Stevens) who dumped her for not being ‘serious’ enough. On her quest to prove herself, Elle is supported by sassy beauty therapist Paulette (Alice Smethurst), her gaggle of ‘delta-nu’ sorority sisters, and the lovable Emmett (Harry Clements), with whom an endearing romance develops.
It's a feel-good musical which oozed positivity. From start to finish, the energy of the entire cast was electric and it was clear that everyone on the stage was working their socks off. For this reason the full-cast numbers were the highlight of the show for me, with the hilarious court-room routine ‘Gay or European’ being the stand-out song. The enjoyment of the cast on stage was contagious - the audience was one of the most enthusiastic ones I have ever been a part of. Given that it was opening night, the show was well-polished with very few slip ups - this was especially impressive given the almost impeccable execution of Ru Wormington's and Matt Boyle’s challenging choreography.
Elle is a character requiring a large presence; this was certainly provided by Hurman's powerful vocals, clever comic characterisation, and strong dancing capabilities
What was wonderful about this production was that there was not a single weak member - a credit to the high standard of talent within MTB. One special mention is of course required: carrying the show was the remarkable Catt Hurman in the principal role of Elle. Rarely leaving the stage, Elle is a character requiring a large presence; this was certainly provided by Hurman's powerful vocals, clever comic characterisation, and strong dancing capabilities.
Every opportunity for comedy was taken full advantage of in this performance, especially in the smaller, supporting roles. From a scene-stealing awkward waitress witnessing Elle and Warner’s breakup to the hilarious Harvard professors and their enthusiastic reception of Elle’s scantily-clad cheerleading team, much of the show’s magic came from the minor roles - a refreshing aspect of the production.
The overall professionalism of the show was enhanced by the fantastic live band (led by Fintan Kealy), whose music added immensely to the upbeat atmosphere. The use of lighting was beautiful and the clever set design was particularly impressive considering the relatively small stage.
Ultimately, MTB’s Legally Blonde! showcases some exceptional individual talent, but what makes it stand out is the strength of its chorus - something rare in amateur productions. The unapologetic cheesiness of this fabulous production had me smiling the whole way through; I wish the team the best of luck with the remainder of their run!
Featured Image: Moonshine Photography
Are you going to see Legally Blonde? Let us know what you think!