‘My character is a hard nosed professor, it’s a great part’

Credit: Johan Persson
Credit: Johan Persson

“AS soon as I saw the show I said I wanted a part in it,” says Les Dennis, who plays Professor Callahan in Legally Blonde The Musical, which opens at the Waterside on Tuesday.

The former TV game show host plays the baddy in the award-winning stage production, which is based on a Hollywood Film.

LEGALLY BLONDE,             ,     Director - Jerry Mitchell, Costume Designer - Gregg Barnes, Scenic Designer - David Rockwell, Lighting - Paul Miller, Liverpool, 2011, Credit: Johan Persson/

LEGALLY BLONDE, , Director - Jerry Mitchell, Costume Designer - Gregg Barnes, Scenic Designer - David Rockwell, Lighting - Paul Miller, Liverpool, 2011, Credit: Johan Persson/

On-stage Dennis will be joined by former Brookside stars Claire Sweeney and Ray Quinn.

The show is expected to prove a big hit at the Aylesbury box office.

To help promote it, pink balloons have been put up across the town and parts of the theatre have been turned pink with special lighting.

Businesses in the town centre are expecting increased trade and Aylesbury’s Slug and Lettuce is offering The Legally Cosmo – a themed cocktail to help build excitement ahead of opening night.

Meanwhile Dennis has also sought to reassure the men that are set to be ‘dragged along’ by their partners.

He said: “It sounds like a show that women would enjoy and men might say ‘my wife is dragging me along’.

“But it is great for everybody, it is a great show for all ages as well.”

The show is based on Reese Witherspoon’s Hollywood movie about a dizzy blonde who helps defend a man on a murder trial after being dumped by her boyfriend.

The plot might have been extremely unrealistic but the show has proved hugely successful.

It has been named best new musical in the Whatsonstage.com awards 2011 and nominated for five Olivier Awards.

“My character is a hard nosed professor,” beams Dennis, “It is a great part.” But the former Family Fortunes TV presenter warns: “It is not Les Dennis the game show host you will see if you come.

“People who might have not seen me in a musical before might be surprised, I guess. But I have been in Chicago and Peter Pan before.”

Dennis enters the show by singing a musical number.

“My first entrance is a song about how the people in Harvard should learn to be a lawyer.”

Theatregoers can expect to hear 18 songs during the show, with heroine Elle singing 16 of them in between her 19 costume changes.

Dennis said: “It is a massive ensemble piece, there are lots of strands to the story and lots going on. But of course it is all about Elle coming of age. They will certainly go out whistling and singing the tunes, it’s all very catchy.”

The cast is led by Faye Brookes who plays heroine Elle. She is best know for her performances in Grease in the West End. Fellow stage-actor Iwan Lewis plays Emmett.

Claire Sweeney plays Paulette, after successful stints in Chicago and Guys And Dolls. Former X Factor finalist and Dancing on Ice winner Ray Quinn plays the part of Warner. The show is directed by award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell.

Legally Blonde The Musical is showing at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until Saturday February 4. For more details visit www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury