West End newcomer Legally Blonde has become the latest success story as Theatreland continues to buck the recession, reporting £2million advance ticket sales and a 'Beatlemania'-like atmosphere at the Savoy Theatre, where it's currently in previews.

Speaking to the Evening Standard today, Sheridan Smith, who plays Elle Woods in the show, said she feels like a “rock star” when she is “mobbed” after each performance. “The audience reaction is amazing. They wait outside for me in the rain afterwards so the least I can do is say hello to every single person who waits … it means hanging around for an extra hour but its more than worth it” she said.

Producer Sonia Friedman, who brought the screen-to-stage show over from Broadway, described the sales figures and audience reaction as “unprecedented”, amid reports that the Savoy Theatre has had to create an 'alternative stage door' to deal with the large numbers of fans.

The musical, which premiered on Broadway in April 2007, is based on the 2001 Hollywood comedy in which Reese Witherspoon played California sorority girl Elle who follows her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School in an attempt to win him back. Smith is joined in the West End cast by ex-Blue pop star Duncan James as Elle’s heartbreaker college sweetheart Warner and Alex Gaumond as her new love interest Emmett (See News, 21 Jul 2009).

Legally Blonde is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, a previous Whatsonstage.com Best Choreographer Award winner for Hairspray and The Full Monty. It has a book by Heather Hach and music and lyrics by Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe. Songs include “Ohmigod You Guys”, “Serious”, “The Harvard Variations”, “Whipped into Shape”, “Find My Way” and the title number.

It officially opens with a gala night on 13 January 2010, and is currently booking to 23 May 2010.

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