Always a source of top-quality musical theatre at the Fringe, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, brings us perhaps one of the best ways to spend a morning at Fringe. Our far-fetched but ever-charming heroine, Elle Woods, in a musical adaptation that, in my opinion, outshines the original 2001 rom-com by a country mile.
High-energy extravaganza of girl-power
If, somehow, you managed to miss the original we follow the story of blonde-bombshell Elle Woods. After her boyfriend breaks up with her towards the end of her final year of University, she decides to follow him to Harvard Law School, in the pursuit of being the kind of serious woman his family would approve of to marry. Despite practically no preparation for the rigours of Law School, Elle quickly excels. Through a combination of wit, charm and 2-in-1 shampoo to become one of the preeminent law students in her class.
With sensible edits they squeeze the show into less than two and half hours without feeling like you’re missing anything from the original. The graduating class of Royal Scottish make up the cast and is strong across the board although the female cast does outshine the male cast. We see especially strong performances from Elle, Serena, Margot and Paulette. Elle in particular is a superstar; her energy defies belief even with such an early morning slot. Her stamina while singing, dancing and giving us a megawatt smile is herculean. Paulette’s acting chops are well demonstrated and she seems destined for great places.
The costumes and set are perhaps one of the only places where the production falters, with odd choices that demonstrate a slight unprofessionalism. However, given the excellent choreography and the stunning vocal performance, both from individuals and the company, it is more than made up for.
If you’re a fan of the film you would be hard pressed not to enjoy this nostalgia trip, that gives you all the feels and all the laughs of the original. If you’re a musical theatre fan not yet acquainted with the show, then it is a must see. Royal Scottish don’t disappoint with this high-energy extravaganza of girl-power and pink business suits.