Omigod You Guys! Not one but two Elle Woods are coming to Aberdeen.
Sophie Love and Rachael Henderson will share the role of the pink-loving and often underestimated sorority girl Elle, famously portrayed by Reese Witherspoon, when Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre stage the show this week.
Both Sophie and Rachael are in their sixth year of school and will soon start their university journeys – just like the protagonist of Legally Blonde.
But there is one other Elle in the picture – and in the show’s playbill. AYMT alumnus and Olivier Award-nominee Amy Lennox, who was part of the original West End cast of Legally Blonde in 2009, wrote the programme’s foreword.
The talented actor, who recently portrayed Sally Bowles in Cabaret, played Elle’s friend Margot and understudied the lead role in the smash-hit London production of Legally Blonde.
She said that being part of the show was “one of the highlights of her career” and that she was certain AYMT would “smash it out the park”.
Empowering and relevant message in AYMT’s version of Legally Blonde
Shirley Henderson, director of AYMT, said the amateur theatre company chose the quirky musical because it has many fabulous roles for its large cast of 63.
The team also fell in love with the show’s empowering message.
“It’s a really important story that is questioning stereotypes,” said Shirley.
“Elle Woods wants to be proposed to by her boyfriend but he says that she’s too blonde and not serious enough so she follows him to Harvard and is determined to win him back.
“At first, you think that it’s a very light story but actually, it’s a lot deeper and it has a great message.”
Musical based on Legally Blonde film starring Reese Witherspoon
While the hugely popular film the musical is based on was released in 2001, many would argue that its message of female empowerment and the importance of being unashamedly yourself no matter what is more relevant now than ever.
Shirley agreed and added: “The message of not judging a book by its cover is also very important today – especially for youngsters trying to find their place in the world. We should be celebrating differences and be accepting of everybody.”
The talented cast, who started rehearsing in August, are also ready to ‘bend and snap’ and reenact the popular film scene on stage.
The manoeuvre – which, according to Elle, has a 98% success rate of getting a man’s attention and, when used appropriately, an 83% rate of return on a dinner invitation – is something the kind-hearted sorority girl teaches her manicurist and confidante Paulette Bonafonté.
AYMT ready to ‘bend and snap’ when they bring Legally Blonde to Aberdeen
Paulette was famously portrayed by Jenniffer Coolige, who has been enjoying a career renaissance in the past few years. But are the AYMT’s Orla Woods and Ellie Yeats ready to step into Jenniffer’s iconic shoes?
“There’s going to be a lot of bending and snapping,” laughed Shirley.
“They found the accent a challenge initially but they’ve got it now.”
There’s one other character that made the Legally Blonde film so loved over the world… Elle’s chihuahua Bruiser. But did AYMT manage to find a well-behaved puppy to take to The Tivoli stage?
“Do you know what… people will have to come and see the show to find out,” said Shirley.
“It’s a secret but I can tell you that what we’re doing is fun.”
Fun and feminist are also the show’s (predominantly pink) costumes. Shirley revealed the AYMT cast has never had so many clothes changes and the team may actually struggle to transport them all to the Guild Street venue…
“We have eight rails of costumes that we’re taking to The Tivoli. All the youngsters have so many changes – they’re playing so many different parts.
Lots of quick changes in store for AYMT’s Legally Blonde at The Tivoli
“Elle has about five or six changes throughout the show and everyone’s in pink at one point,” teased Shirley.
“There are a lot of quick changes so we’re hoping everybody has the right costume on at the right time!”
It will be with “passion, courage of conviction and strong sense of self” that the AYMT cast take to The Tivoli stage later this week and Shirley hopes Aberdeen theatre fans will be there to support them.
“It’s such a funny show, the music is brilliant and the story is so important. I’m sure people will take lots away with them and they will be smiling when they leave the theatre,” she concluded.
AYMT’s Legally Blonde is at Aberdeen’s Tivoli Theatre from Wednesday March 29 until Saturday April 1. Tickets can be purchased here.