SOMETIMES, during court hearings, circumstances can change very quickly, forcing those involved in the case to quickly make impromptu alterations.
A similar situation arose at tonight’s Legally Blonde at the Norbury Theatre where the actor playing the main character Elle Woods withdrew with just an hour until the curtain rose.
Erin Maiden – who stepped into the breach – did a fantastic job, playing the role excellently and – with the audience willing both Maiden and Elle to succeed on the night – it made for a very enjoyable show.
She was very ably supported by a very talented cast.
Her best friends Margot (Megan Harrington) and Pilar (Molly Taylor) were by her side all the way, along with the great Greek Chorus.
The pair had excellent chemistry and fantastic dance routines – mirroring each others’ moves throughout.
Taylor, at just 14, has a bright future on the stage and will surely go on to play even bigger roles.
Harrington was a joy to watch, bringing out smiles in the audience every time she took to the stage.
She – along with Hayley Gass who played Paulette – have two of the most expressive faces you will see on any stage. There were times when you would not have even needed the words or song lyrics to know exactly their characters’ thoughts or emotions.
Playing the lovable hairdresser, Gass was fantastically funny and heart-warming to watch and led or played a key role in two of the funniest numbers in the show – Ireland and and Bend and Snap.
The best laugh out loud moments of the night, however, came during the ‘not very PC’ song Gay or European? Those watching were roaring with laughter as Carlos (Jimmy Hill) and Nikos (Luke Mills) took centre stage.
Hill was also fantastic as Aaron Schultz and Grandmaster Chad.
Sam Jeffrey as Emmett was taken into audience hearts, always ‘having Elle’s back’ and justifiably winning his love at the finale. His duets with Maiden were the most touching moments in the show.
Emma Waters made a brilliant Brooke with her highlight being her ‘Whipped Into Shape’ solo where she did some chuckle-worthy ad-libbing dealing with a malfunctioning skipping rope (you don’t get to write that line in many reviews).
Ellie Davison as the first snobby and then humble Vivienne, Paul Steele as first authoritative and then sleazy Prof Callaghan and Kate Green as feminist Hoops were all solid performers.
In truth, there were so many good portrayals in this show, everyone involved should be very proud of what they have produced.
A real live orchestra really makes a difference in any production and the Norbury’s never fails to disappoint.
And a shout-out also has to go to Yorkshire Terrier Sid and Cockapoo Lola – two of the best-behaved dogs you will see in theatre.
This show was due to be put staged when the pandemic hit and has been waiting in the wings for two years – and it was worth waiting for.
It really does have everything – catchy songs, fantastic performances, light-hearted feelgood theatre and a serious message which is arguably more apt now in these trying times than it was back in 2020 – be yourself and if you want something badly enough and work hard at it, you will achieve your goal, regardless of the circumstances around you.
All that is left to say is ‘Omigod You Guys – make sure you catch this super show and find out why everyone should have a bit of ‘Legally Blonde in their life!’
The remaining performances take place on Saturday, June 25, and then from Thursday to Saturday next week, June 29 to July 2.
Tickets are £15 (£13 concessions) with performances starting at 7.30pm.
Visit norburytheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01905 770154 to book tickets.