Arts Award Unit 1- Part C: `Legally Blonde’ Review
On the 23rd of March, 2019 myself and my arts award group watched the ADC (Amateur Dramatics Cambridge) Theatre production of `Legally Blonde’ based on the novel of the same name by Amanda Brown, as well as the film `Legally Blonde’ (2001). It was directed by Holly Mackinlay, music & lyrics written by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and choreography by Anna Harrison & Vicki Lampitt.
The production follows Elle Woods (Sophie Atherton) the protagonist on her struggle through the mainly male-dominated (as mentioned in the directors note featured in the program) world of Harvard Law School (because, yeah, she got in. Like it’s hard?). She finds herself battling the common attitudes & perceptions of the people around her e.g. people thinking she’s too out there and incompetent to be a lawyer or just a ‘dumb-blonde’. The production represents a journey of finding love, happiness and striving for greatness in her various ventures to become a lawyer in the end all mostly proving successful- although like any road to success there’s always a few set-backs to get past.
I would firstly like to discuss the acting & directorial elements of the production, overall the quality of acting was fantastic and clearly showcased the casts talents effectively through the dancing, singing & acting art forms shown. I particularly liked the portrayal of Paulette Bonafonte (Harriet Fisher) as it really embodied the iconic characters clumsiness, sweet attitude and great comedic timing but still had a fresh uniqueness to keep you on your toes. All the great performances clearly show the fantastic directing behind the scenes to make this production so stupendous. The great directing was showcased during the smooth changeovers, fabulous staging and all around the whole production.
I will now cover the practical elements of the play, being the lighting, sets, sound, costumes, makeup & props. In my opinion I thought all the practical elements of the play were of high quality especially the sets & costumes. I like how the sets and props were quite simple & multi-use but were still effective so you knew what was what and why they were there, my favourite was the ‘Kappa Nu’ sorority house due to the bright colours and overall engaging nature. I thought it was great how it changed into multiple different sets as well like the court room and Elle’s college bedroom.
The costumes included casual wear and prison suits (quite unexpected) and on the flip side bright/eccentric costumes which shined in the lights- which were also fantastic. I like how the costumes really embodied the characters so you knew before even seeing their faces who they were. The lights had a great mix of warm and cool tones to set scenes and accentuated the aesthetics of the stage. My thoughts on the makeup were that it was quite simple but worked well with the stage lighting, as I’ve heard this can be a challenge. The sound was also amazing it was clear and the right volume, especially during the singing – which although not being a practical feature, like the acting it was fantastic.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the production of `Legally Blonde’ at the ADC Theatre. The creative & practical elements were of admirable quality and throughout the performance they kept it interesting, and for an amateur dramatics production I thought it was outstanding. I would definitely recommend this to people of my age group and older (due to the somewhat mature humour at times) who are interested in the arts, so for that reason I rate this production: 5 Stars!