IMAGINE making eight series of Two Pints of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps, quite possibly the worst sitcom of the last decade. And for all that time, being capable of doing so much more.
In two hours, Sheridan Smith, the blonde one (not the even more irritating curly haired one from Two Pints of Rubbish), galloped up in my expectations.
This whole show hinges on her and she excels. There can’t be many West End actors who work harder than her, carrying every scene she’s in, which amounts to most of them. Forget Duncan James, the Blue singer who drew alleycat groans of delight from what seemed like a 95 per cent female audience when he first appeared. Smith is the star, fantastic as Elle Woods, the pretty in pink sorority girl who ditches a shopping obsession, make-up and velour tracksuits to study law.
She blags her way into Harvard in the hope that Duncan will take her seriously, only to learn – you guessed it – that there’s more to life
than how pretty you are and whether you have a pair of hot pink knee high boots or not.
This silly story, taken from the hit film, is padded out with a silly sub-plot about former EastEnders actress Jill Halfpenny’s hairdresser
Paulette and her own search for romance.
But the silliness is wonderful escapism, a burst of colour which only the worst grinch would growl at.
The down side is the lack of truly memorable songs. In this regard Legally Blonde is a bit like Hairspray-lite, matching that other West End show for brash wit but not in the number of infectious tunes. It doesn’t matter too much, as Smith transforms even the weakest songs into animated set-pieces. She deserves the laurels she will get for this – you should see this show before she moves on to something else.
Booking to May 23 • 0844 209 1805