Last year I ended my review of Fame by saying, “This was my first visit to Flixton Girls School, it certainly won’t be my last!” So, I was thrilled to be invited back to review this years’ production of Legally Blonde Junior. Once again, their welcome was second to none as I was escorted to my seat where I found the younger members of the chorus already seated on benches in front of the stage all wearing matching pink t-shirts.
I will start with a negative, and I must stress this is in no way a reflection of the cast and crew who provided another gem of a show tonight. The negative is the way the publishers have butchered the content of the show. I get the fact that this is performed by under 16’s, but this is now the 21st century where the acceptance of the LGBT community is an everyday thing. With that in mind the decision to cut “Gay or European” entirely from the show is a travesty. Apart from this being a superbly comedic piece in the original production it is an integeral part of the court scenes. Add to this the fact the words to “Ohmigod You Guys”, the opening number to “Ohmigosh” I find this being a case of censorship going too far.
Onto the production which as I mentioned was another gem. Directed by Miss Taberham the cast performed with passion and total commitment which was a joy to see. The inclusion of the large choir in front of the stage added to the powerful vocals provided by the principle performers led by Chloe Chesworth as Elle Woods. Chesworth really is a star of the future oozing confidence from the moment she took to the stage with a voice to match delivering a first class performance, which deservedly gained the loudest ovation at the curtain call.
Mia Robertson as Paulette, Fleur O’Malley as Vivienne and Eden Woodstock-Burgher as fitness guru Brook also shone during their solo numbers, proving the future of musical theatre is alive and well as the school nurtures these young performers hopefully towards a future in the business.
Hannah Weiner (Warner), Surejya McKenzie (Emmett) and Lorna Arden (Callahan) also put in superb performances playing the male roles in this production. Such was their stage presence you quickly forgot these performers were girls playing male roles. A cameo appearance from Mr Coultas as Dewey was well received by the audience.
A basic set was transformed scene by scene by clever use of changeable signs and props leaving you in no doubt the setting in which the scene was being played.
One of the joys of being able to travel around the region seeing school productions such as this, is to see the passion these young performers have. Tonight was no different with the pupils of Flixton Girls School excelling once again. I am already looking forward to the possibility of returning in 2018 to see their next production. I shall finish by saying, this was my second visit to Flixton Girls School, it certainly won’t be my last!
Legally Blonde Jr continues at Flixton Girls School until Friday. If you have a spare evening go down and support this superb cast, they deserve a full house each night.
Reviewer: Paul Downham
Reviewed: 8th February 2017