REVIEW: Legally Blonde, YMCA Theatre, Scarborough

Tilly Jackson and Paul Buttner
Tilly Jackson and Paul Buttner

Scarborough Musicals continued to ring the changes with its latest production – Legally Blonde.

Over the past few years it has veered from traditional, Fiddler on the Roof and Sweet Charity, to more modern Hairspray and now the stage version of the hit Reese Witherspoon movie.

Like Hairspray it gives the younger members of the company the chance to take centre stage – an opportunity they grabbed with both hands and showed they can act, sing and dance with the best of ‘em.

It is the story of West Coast blonde socialite Elle Woods who is ditched by her clever, social climbing fiance Warner who ditches her as he heads East to Harvard Law School.

Determined to recapture his heart Elle follows him – enrols in law class and sets about proving to him she is a brainy blonde not just a beautiful one.

Tilly Jackson – pitched perfect as pink-loving Elle in every way – charmed, flirted, flounced and then got serious as the leading lady who realises brains are as important as looks.

Charlie Shaw shone as the serious-minded but fickle Warner and Claire Edwards was great as his new love-interest Vivienne.

She chewed up and spat out some of the best lines with a cutting edge.

Amanda Wademan was in wonderful voice and comic mode as love hungry Paulette.

The find of the cast, though, was Connor Canvess in his first leading role. He played the cool, calm Emmett, who sets Elle on the road to being a legal eagle.

There was great support from Rebecca Boag, Alex Asquith, Casey Canvess, Cara Hitchens, Luci Barber and Sara Cox as Elle’s friends.

Great ensemble work as usual and a stand-out cameo from Damon Hotchin as hunk Kyle. Dave Blaker brought a nasty edge to his role as Elle’s law professor.

Though packed with songs it’s not the most tuneful of shows – but there are some more memorable than others – OMG you Guys, Blood in the Water, Delta Nu Nu Nu, Ireland and Chip on My Shoulder included.

Tightly directed by Sheryl Buttner, its serious message was put across with fun, flounce and frills.