OMIGOD You Guys – What a show!
Forget the large theatre companies based all around the UK, we have excellent talent on our doorstep in Cardiff and they are called Kinetic Arts. They set their latest musical ‘Legally Blonde’ in the magnificent building, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, with glorious views overlooking Bute park. The show was based in the Richard Burton Theatre, a smaller, more intimate setting than the larger theatre at the college.
Legally Blonde is a light-hearted tale of a woman’s pursuit of love. Jade Wellbeloved plays the main character Elle, she’s a ditzy perfectionist on the outside, living in a little pink bubble and always striving to look good and spend her parents’ money. Elle’s friends, her sorority girls known as the ‘Delta Nu`s’, also live in this little fantasy bubble where everything is light and fluffy, girls achieve and go places by being attractive and desirable to the opposite sex. They are dedicated followers of fashion, cheerleading and being completely over the top with femininity.
Elle believes her dreams are about to come true when her devilishly handsome boyfriend Warner, played by Morgan Thomas, is seemingly going to pop the question. However, instead he tells her he wants to break up, and is leaving immediately to study law at Harvard.
Elle believes that the way to winning back his heart is to prove she can be intellectual, so she embarks on a quest to follow him to Harvard in pursuit of a law degree.
However, being the ditzy character she is, she is constantly knocked-back by intellectual Harvard students, and to add salt to the wound her now ex boyfriend is dating another Law Student, Viv, played by Grace Morrison.
Luckily for Elle she receives help from Paulette who runs the Hair Affair Salon. The character played by Rebeka Shalom is so outrageously funny my whole family couldn’t stop laughing at the many witty lines and fantastic expressions she pulls.
Despite helping Elle, she lacks confidence herself, which is the cue for the ‘Delta Nu’s’ to appear and teach her how to do the ‘bend and snap’ move to get a man. It’s the funniest thing and so over the top but perfect for the show.
During Elle’s time at law school only one person, a trainee called Emmett, takes her seriously. Karl Veryard, who plays Emmett, believes she can achieve her potential providing she gives up superficial beauty regimes and dedicates her time to sheer hard work.
Her self-confidence grows and she goes on to achieve her degree and win an internship with a law firm.
Elle proves to all the doubters that she isn’t just a dumb blonde, and yet because of her beauty and kind nature, she’s still taken advantage of by her boss, who goes on to sack her because she rejects him.
It is a moving moment as she’s been ridiculed by so many people who can’t see beyond her looks; all she’s ever wanted is to be taken seriously and be accepted.
This is the final straw, yet as Elle is leaving Harvard to return home, Emmett confesses his love for her and persuades her not to give up.
Subsequently, when Elle returns her boss, played by Kit Sweet, is sacked by their client Brooke, and Elle is asked if she will defend her in court.
Two memorable songs which really stick in the mind are ‘Omigod You Guys’ and ‘Gay or European’, and throughout the show the music was performed by a very accomplished live band.
Also, I was amazed by the amount of effort put into the stage scenes and props, one minute there was a witness box in a court room, then the jury was taken to a crime scene and the stage was reversed.
To sum up the cast I’d say they all showed so much talent and passion, and looked like they were having a whole lot of fun. I enjoyed this musical so much more than the film, it was full of high energy dance scenes, outrageous characters, extremely funny moments that made me laugh out loud, and yet it did have an underlying message that you shouldn’t give up on your dreams and not take life too seriously, a little bit of glitz and ditz is good for you.
Full credit to the production team behind Kinetic Arts including Director Kris Crowley andMusical Directors Liz York and Emma Pawsey. This arts group could give any West End show a run for their money. Omigod what a show!