REVIEW – Legally Blonde the Musical

I’ve always felt a little guilty about being such a fan of Legally Blonde, and not just because of my slight girl crush on Reese Witherspoon.

I love Elle Woods for her enthusiasm, her passion, and her fondness for pink, but, as you can read at Ready for Ten, I’ve always questioned whether a woman who gets into Harvard on the basis on a video of herself in a bikini is really the best role model for Bee and Belle.

Maybe not, but I do admire her initiative. And if I looked half decent in a bikini I may well do the same.

Regardless of the feminist arguments for and against, I can’t help but love the film, so when I found out the musical version was coming from the West End to the Bristol Hippodrome, just days after we moved to Bristol, well… that’s got to be fate hasn’t it? Snaps for us, as the Delta Nu girls would say.

The Bristol Hippodrome is a proper theatre, so seeing anything there is always a treat. Apart perhaps from the matinée performance of ‘Lazy Town Live’ I took Belle to a few years ago. That really wasn’t fun, and the two pints of cider at lunch beforehand did not add to the experience.

Arriving at the Hippodrome to see Legally Blonde though, completely sober, I had high hopes, and I wasn’t disappointed. Elle’s boundless energy translated brilliantly to the stage, to the extent that I began to question why no one had thought of putting spontaneous song and dance routines in the original film. My personal favourite was the court scene, where the decidedly camp pool boy is being questioned. ‘Is he gay or European?’ the jury sang. He looked so well-groomed, and his trousers were so tight, but what did it mean? No one could say for sure.

If there was a downside, it was that feeling you often get when you see the film version of a book you love. You recognise the plot and the characters, you can even pick our whole chunks of dialogue, but you feel somehow cheated that it isn’t all done in exactly the same way as the original. I can’t blame the musical for that though, it’s my fault for having watched the film 27 times.

So will watching Legally Blonde inspire my daughters to become lawyers? Maybe not, but hopefully at least I’ll be more supportive than Elle’s parents were if that’s what they decide to do.

“Honey, you were First Runner-Up at the “Miss Hawaiian Tropics” contest,” says Elle’s mum when she announces her intentions to go to Harvard, “why are you going to throw that all away?”

“Oh, sweetheart,” adds her Dad, “you don’t need law school. Law school is for people who are boring and ugly and serious. And you, button, are none of those things.”

Now that’s my kind of parenting.



  1. Hi – great review. You picked out all the same things as Declan talked about the other day! Mandy is off to see this soon too. It sounds great and being a bit butch and manly (hate pink) I still looooooooooove legally blonde. She’s great! Despite some of the messages, the one that prevails is that nice people do no always finish last! : ) Perseverance is the key!

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