Legally Blonde- Review

15th March 2019

Director –                    Mr J Cottee    

Choreographer –         Mrs E Cottee  

Musical Director -       Mrs A Daniels                                                            

Performed at Westcliff High School for Girls on Sunday 10 March 2019

For a number of reasons, I attended the dress rehearsal of this production, but you would not have known that by watching the performance.   The show was excellent from the very start, the cast were full of energy and, despite a few obvious nerves, they all looked as though they were having a great time performing. 

Eleanor Stewart played the lead role of Elle Woods.  She was rarely off stage and makes a significant number (I lost count!) of costumes changes in the few moments when she was not on stage.  This is, therefore, a challenging role for any performer and Eleanor rose to the challenge very well.  There were a few signs of nerves but, as her first role in this school’s shows, that was understandable. I bet she will be smiling a lot more by the end of the run!

Henry Bashford played Emmett Forrest with great characterisation, he is an experienced performer and was relaxed and completely ‘in character’ on stage.   A nicely judged performance.    Harvey Withers played Warner Huntingdon lll, and Brandon Outten played Professor Callahan, two more very good performances.

Rosie Duenas (Margot) Krisdeanna Reed (Serena) and Liberty Overall (Pilar) opened the show with an outstanding opening number.  These three formed the cohort of Elle’s friends who supported her throughout the show, and they all did an excellent job.  Each one had her own character which she played to perfection.

Isabel Beresford-Cole played Paulette Buonufonte, a terrific part which Isabel played with great style and energy.  Ellie Worth played Vivienne Kensington well, bringing out just enough ‘cattiness’ to make it interesting but not overplayed.

I would have liked to give individual praise to every named performer, but I just don’t have the space in this report.  I would, however, congratulate every single member of the cast on working so hard to produce their characters.  When I am watching a performance, I like to look at the ensemble as much as at the Principals.  Seeing all of them working their characters even when they were not being featured was a joy and lifted the whole production to a higher level.

The costumes were outstanding, perfectly co-ordinated and absolutely fitted to the show.  The scenery looked simple, but the engineering to provide the size of stage and scenery space was impressive.  Technical issues were minimal, a few times the mics were not turned up in time, but this was a dress rehearsal and that is part of doing the run.   The band was excellent, making a good sound that supported the performers well.  The back stage crew were well drilled, and the scene changes worked smoothly and with no interruption in the pace of the show.

Possibly the most impressive part of this production was that, with the exception of the creative team and a couple of technical supervisors, the entire show was performed and run by the students.  The skills that they learn by taking part in a production will serve them well in their careers, whatever path they choose to follow.

It was a pleasure to watch the show and I am sure that the cast and crew will have a successful run.

Tessa Davies

Written by Tessa Davies
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