Faye Brookes On ... Legally BlondeDate: 28 August 2012
Flixton born actress Faye Brookes has stepped into Elle Woods' Jimmy Choos in the touring version of the hit musical Legally Blonde which took the West End by storm, following success at the Whatsonstage.com Awards. We caught up with Faye before the show reaches Manchester next month to talk about Elle Woods, Bruiser and all things pink and Blonde.
Elle Woods is a great part but what attracted you to the part and the show?
I was originally very fond of the movie and loved the musical version even more, she is a complex character and so much more than just a blonde wig. I loved her honesty.
The songs are instantly catchy - have you got any favourites?
“So Much Better” is a favourite just because it’s her ‘single woman’ realisation that she doesn’t need a man to make her feel good about herself, it’s a real feel-good number and I think for the first time the whole audience is probably on her side and wishing her to do well!
This is a great role to show people what you can do. But were you nervous following in the footsteps of Sheridan Smith?
Anyone who plays this role will compare themselves to the other women who have played it and automatically be compared to the film and the original show in London’s West End but I see it as, no one will play it the way I’ve done it and I’ll never play it the way they’ve done it.
Legally Blonde is much more than a girl’s night out. What do you think the show has for males?
Gorgeous ladies! Great jokes! It’s for everyone and the story sends out a great positive message, male or female, they’ll love it.
Ths show surprised a lot of people as it is much more than a movie retread. Why do you think audiences have responded so well to it, so quickly?
It’s modern, with a whole new sound, people have never heard this music before, we’re not compared to We Will Rock You or Mamma Mia! With its brilliant, positive storyline and continuous jokes that are very self-deprecating, no wonder people fall in love with it. You have to learn how to laugh at yourself.
How many dogs are there in the production and can you tell us about how you bonded with them?
We had doggy sleepovers during rehearsal. Working with the dogs is a ball! I’m such a dog person by nature... I’m hoping to get one for Christmas but I doubt it’ll be as well behaved as our pups, there are two Jack Russells and two bulldogs that travel with us throughout the tour.
How does the show differ from the film, apart from the fact it’s a musical?
There’s so much more to the characters, including Emmett who you don’t really learn much about in the film, whereas in the Musical he is a leading man! Everyone has a role to play to tell this story and with live theatre there’s always the element of surprise!
How does it feel performing in Manchester soon, considering you are from Flixton?
Very surreal. I was the one who grew up wanting to be these leading ladies that I saw in the shows at The Opera and The Palace as a child. Now I’ll be that leading lady on the stage. I hope I get to inspire younger girls that come to see the show!
Touring must be fun – but also tiring – what are the pluses and minuses?
Being away from home is tough but there’s no time to miss anyone. It keeps you busy and on your toes. We have to adapt the show to the theatre wherever we go. That’s also difficult but we get to see and discover amazing cities and bring this show to audiences all over the UK!
For those not in the know – what is the 'bend and snap' and how difficult/easy is it to master?
Anyone can do it because everyone has the tools. To get that special guy’s attention but I’m afraid this move works for girls, it’s particularly for the ladies. It shows off all your assets in a good way. Give it a go! What’ve you got to lose?
Lastly, any plans following the tour?
No dream is too big! Who knows what’s in store?
Faye Brookes was speaking to Glenn Meads.
Legally Blonde - The Musical is at the Manchester Opera House from 11 - 22 September.
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