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Reviewing 'Legally Blonde' by KMTS: "If there ever was a perfect musical, this one qualifies!"

The King’s Musical Theatre Society’s run of Legally Blonde, directed by Bea Watts and produced by Zelenie Luk , opened last week at the Greenwood Theatre. Not only do I think that it is a stunning adaptation of the iconic musical, but I genuinely think that it is a prime example of the pristine level of talent that we have at this university.

KMTS's production of 'Legally Blonde'. Photo by Stefi Komala.

I have adored the Legally Blonde musical (which I listened to before I’d even watched the 2001 film it was based on, for some inexplicable reason) for many years, so when I found out it was the KMT’s second semester pick I was understandably ecstatic – and it did not disappoint.

There is a certain kind of euphoria in the thrill of musical theatre, especially in a show as overwhelmingly positive and sonically catchy as Legally Blonde. Everyone was bonded by our reactions: the whoops of joy when Elle got into Harvard, the laughs when the scandalous revelation in ‘There! Right There!’ came to light, the communal gasps of horror when Professor Callahan tried it on with Elle. All of this, of course, being thanks to the immaculate cast, all of whom were perfect in their roles, no matter how ‘small’. The level of talent demonstrated by every single member of the cast, ensemble or otherwise, was genuinely impressive – a talent that was only emphasised by the wonderful accompanying tunes of the live orchestra (led by musical directors Rohan Godfrey and Issy Guilar) and the choreography by Kai Patel and Bea Watts. The opening scene wherein all the Delta Nu’s are introduced was the perfect first taste of the musical, and the grand reveal of Marie Hofer Tillyer’s Elle trying on the perfect proposal dress was stunning. 

KMTS's production of 'Legally Blonde'. Photo by Stefi Komala.

Tillyer’s performance as Elle was both hilarious and heart-wrenching. She managed to portray a perfect Elle Woods, the musical’s main character who, although is underestimated as an "average" blonde sorority president, nonetheless proves to be a highly intelligent and witty woman who only wants to help those around her. For instance, her friendship with Paulette (played by the excellent and highly talented Matilda Shapland) was wonderful to witness. The moment where they both (alongside Emmett, played by Aiden Phipps) confront Paulette’s ex-boyfriend was genuinely tense and incredibly performed by all actors. Speaking of Emmett, Phipps' performance was sweet and earnest; his interaction with the Greek Chorus during a specific moment of the performance was particularly lovely. Tillyer’s portrayal was especially impressive during her version of the pre-intermission banger So Much Better; a performance that was made even better by the Delta Nu’s iconic ‘ELLE WOODS’ jackets standing above her onstage.

Other remarkable performances were those of David Chen (playing Professor Callahan), Isabella Slyman (playing Vivienne Kensington), Luke Purwar (playing Warner Hungtington III), and, of course, Peter Unsworth and his ridiculously hilarious portrayal of Kyle. The genuine cackling of the entire audience at his iconic strut was honestly one of the best parts of the night. KMT’s production of Legally Blonde hit absolutely every single comedic point, whether that was through the infallible Greek Chorus or the use of the ‘perm’ sported by, at one point, two characters simultaneously. All this to say, the cast were not only immensely musically gifted but superb actors too.

KMTS's production of 'Legally Blonde'. Photo by Stefi Komala.

Every aspect of the performance was wonderful, from the flashing lights onstage to the set design that doubled as Elle’s room and a Harvard law school classroom within the span of minutes. I particularly enjoyed the use of rainbow lights during ‘There! Right There!' – if you know, you know.

This was my first time attending a KMT performance, and I absolutely adored it. So, if you get the chance, make your way down to the Greenwood Theatre and let yourself be bewitched by the tunes of Legally Blonde. The only downside is that you will be humming the entire soundtrack for the rest of the week. But there are worse things to have stuck in your head because, after all, if there ever was a perfect musical, this one qualifies!


Edited by Georgia Gibson, Theatre Editor.


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