Sunderland Empire is officially in the pink this Christmas, as the smash hit musical Legally Blonde settles in to its festive home. The show has the effect of feeling you have been wrapped up in a large pink candyfloss, which is cosseting you from all your troubles and lets you leave the Theatre ready for Christmas. What more could you ask for?
Sticking close to the hit film, we follow Elle Woods (Faye Brookes) as she prepares for her boyfriend Warner (Neil Toon) to propose over dinner, but instead he dumps her. Not one to let her man get away, and showing she is no dumb blonde follows him to Harvard Law School.
At first she is not taken seriously but obviously she overcomes the objectors and wins the day, all with the aid of her faithful companion Chihuahua and fellow student Emmett (Iwan Lewis).
While in the main, the songs are instantly forgettable, that does not deter from the all singing and dancing show, which is much stronger in Act Two. A sub plot involving, Liz McClarnon as the hairdresser Paulette, and a delivery man, provides the major comic moments but it is Matthew Kelly as Professor Callahan who brings a serious side to the proceedings. He is outstanding as Callahan and changes from being commanding and domineering to sinister, as we find out what really motivates his selection of pupils.
This show has something for the whole family and is the ideal antidote to pantoland or for those feeling a bit humbug on the run up to the big day.