Bournville Musical Theatre Company has never been a group to shy away from some of the great musicals. Their varied repertoire is a credit to the talent the group possess and at their dress and technical rehearsal last night, it was no different. There was a palpable warmth in the auditorium and a wonderful excitement as the group brought this show to the Crescent’s stage.
As the orchestra struck up and the baton was lifted, it was clear we were in for a brilliant show. Under the Musical Direction of Chris Corcoran, the music delighted from the very first note. Corcoran’s MD’ing is always an absolute highlight and the super score swelled under his direction and talented musicians.
The energy continued to heighten as the cast took to the stage for the excitable opener Omigod You Guys. The female ensemble breathed exuberance into every lyric and dance move, precisely how you would want the show to open. Elle’s three best friends (Sophie Elle, Natalie Buzzard and Siobhan Ganley) provide a great comic trio, with solid vocals throughout; complemented well by the range of ensemble characters we meet along the way.
Phil Snowe made for a right creep as Professor Callahan. He’s such an unlikeable character and Snowe captured this well, plus he was in great voice as he delivered a threatening rendition of Blood in the Water. Claire Rough had a tough job. Not only opening the second act, but also having to sing the opening song, whilst doing some intense cardio skipping as Brooke Wyndham. Rough nailed it and her vocals were impressively strong considering she was swinging a rope around at the same time.
Elsewhere, Lily Moore’s Vivienne was gloriously cutting showing a great transition in the second act. Vivienne’s part really comes into it’s own in the second half; particularly during the title number Legally Blonde, and Moore’s voice really soared above the ensemble. Rhian Heeley’s Paulette was hilarious, showcasing her talent for comedy, with a standout moment being her Ireland (Reprise). It was lovely to see that her offstage husband played her onstage eye-candy Kyle and Adam Heeley played the role brilliantly.
There wasn’t a weak link within the principal casting, from a rather annoying and self-obsessed Warner (Peter Holmes) to the endearing and vocally impressive David Paige as Emmett; each person brought a great depth to their character. Plus, who can forget the gorgeous cameos from Tink (Bruiser) and Beefy (Rufus).
However, it was down to Chloe Turner to lead the way as Elle Woods and suffice to say, she more than impressed. A triple threat of acting, singing and dancing is essential for this role and Turner had it all. From opening to closing her focus and drive never faltered, as she confidently brought the whole show together.
Sadie Turner’s choreography was impressive, enthusiastically executed by the entire ensemble; it really lifted the show another notch. Under the assured direction of John Morrison, it’s abundantly clear that he knew this musical inside out, managing to pull out every little bit of comedy he could.
The audiences of BMTC’s Legally Blonde are surely in for a treat this week. If you’re able to grab one of the very few remaining tickets, do it now.
Legally Blonde plays at The Crescent Theatre until 28 April.
Please be aware, this review was written at the Dress / Technical rehearsal. We do not comment on anything to do with stops, starts or technical difficulties. We provide a fair review based on what we heard and saw.
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