“I think people are surprised by the show,” admits award-winning director Jerry Mitchell, who brings Legally Blonde the Musical to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre in the New Year.
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.
The Aylesbury cast features former Brookside actress Claire Sweeney, who plays the main character Elle.
Mitchell believes the former soap star comes across on stage as ‘fantastic, vulnerable and heartwarming’.
Joining her in Legally Blonde will be former TV presenter Les Dennis who plays Professor Callahan and former Brookside soap actor Ray Quinn, who stars as Emmett.
Mitchell says: “It has had a very successful run over the last few years, and is now in its third year here in the UK, which is longer than it ran on Broadway.
“It’s received better ratings by the critics here.”
He joked: “I think you have more critics here in the West End than on Broadway. I think overall coming here you have a better chance of a fair review.”
Mitchell admits the show is different to the film, saying: “I actually don’t think people know how a movie gets changed into a musical.
“On stage you have people singing, which doesn’t happen in the film.”
Theatregoers can expect to hear 18 songs during the show, with heroine Elle singing 16 of them in between her 19 costume changes.
Mitchell is no stranger to bringing films to the stage, and has been involved with stage versions of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Full Monty.
Mitchell believes fans of the Legally Blonde film will be impressed, saying: “It is funny and heartfelt, the songs are really fantastic, the lyrics are witty and people have somebody to root for.”
> Legally Blonde the Musical comes to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre from January 31 to February 4.