St Paul’s Players
Produced and Directed by Liz Blundell and Lily Blundell
Musical Director James Eccleshare
I have heard in the past mixed reviews about the musical”Legally Blonde “so I had some reservations when invited to go and see Saint Paul’s Players production, however I need not have worried as I thoroughly enjoyed this show. Produced and directed by the talented mother and daughter team of Liz and Lily Blundell this production was full of life and energy with good singing and acting, the pace was fast and the audience were swept along with the story, which centers on Elle Woods a popular UCLA sorority girl from Malibu California who usually gets everything she wants, but unfortunately she has now been let down by Warner the man whom she expected to marry just because she is too blonde and will not make a sensible wife for a promising Lawyer. He leaves her to enroll at Harvard Law School, so Elle decides to follow him and attend the same school, hoping to change his mind and win him back, but things do not go as expected as she realises that she will have to work and study hard, not only to win Warner back but to keep up with her fellow students and show everyone what she can do.
With all the cast working hard as a team with no weak links there were some great performances in this show which included a strong outstanding central performance from Beth Eccleshare in the important role of, Elle Woods, her characterisation was spot-on and she owned the stage. She was well complimented by Christian Brabin who was excellent as the supportive Law Teaching Assistant Emmett and Elle’s love interest by the end of the show. Jane Catterall produced a very good enjoyable comedic performance as Paulette the beautician, Elle’s friend and confident, while Jamie Flavell gave a good interpretation of the callous Professor Callaghan, head of The Harvard Law School. Jamie Taylor has a very nice singing voice, he also managed to portray the superficial character of Elle’s ex-boyfriend Warner very well and Victoria Armstrong gave a good portrayal of Warner’s serious new girlfriend Vivienne. There were other important members of the cast who gave excellent performances and supported the main principles admirably they included Rebecca Crookson (Serena), Laura Foster (Margot)Hilary Brownson -Hardman (Pilar), Hannah Docherty(Kate), Becca Hilton (Leilani) and Nicola Hayes (Gaelen) Elle’s UCLA Sorority friends, with Naomi Bridges as Elle’s Harvard Colleague Enid and Emily Burnside as Brooke the fitness queen who Elle successfully defends in a murder trial. Lastly but definitely not least there was Phil Armstrong who gave a good comedic performance as Kyle, Paulette’s new Postman boyfriend. Two other characters who deserve a mention were the canine actors the wonderful Fifi as Bruiser and Winston as Rufus who both stole the show as soon as they came on stage. The principal cast were very well supported by the ensemble who performed with energy enthusiasm and produced some wonderful characters of their own.
Choreography was by Lily and Liz Blundell which worked very well, suited the production and was performed very well by the cast. The orchestra led by Musical Director James Eccleshare generally played very well but on some occasions they were a little loud, however overall all the cast sang and performed the musical numbers excellently and were well supported by the orchestra.
The set was basically scenery free with pink lights outlining the stage, scenes were set by the use of back projection and intelligent use of props along with very good sound and lighting which all fitted in well with this production, costumes as well as hair and makeup were spot-on and added to the atmosphere and enhanced the production.
Congratulations to Liz and Lily Blundell for an excellent enjoyable show and to all involved in bringing this production to the stage, thank you for inviting us.