Legally Blonde the Musical began previews in the West End on December 5th 2009, before officially opening at London’s Savoy Theatre on January 13th 2010.
The West End production closed on April 7th 2012.
Original London Cast
Elle Woods – Sheridan Smith
Mutli award-winning actress Sheridan Smith began her musical theatre career in productions of Bugsy Malone and Into the Woods, before starring in television comedies such as Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Gavin & Stacey. Since her role in Legally Blonde, she has had an Olivier Award-winning role in Flare Path, as well as Hedda Gabler, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the revival of Funny Girl at the Savoy Theatre.
Emmett Forrest – Alex Gaumound
Originally from Canada, Alex Gaumond made his West End debut in a production of The Full Monty at the Prince of Wales Theatre, and since toured the UK with Guys and Dolls and Desperately Seeking Susan. In 2002, he became the replacement Galileo in We Will Rock You, and further West End roles have included Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical and Alberto Beddini in Top Hat.
Warner Huntington III – Duncan James
Duncan James shot to fame as a member of the 2000’s boy band Blue. In 2007, he made his West End debut as Billy Flynn in Chicago, subsequently taking part in part in ITV’s Dancing on Ice. In 2004, he recorded a single from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Woman in White, and has since toured the UK with productions such as Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Paulette Bonafonté – Jill Halfpenny
Best known for her roles in British soaps Coronation Street and EastEnders, Olivier Award-winning actress Jill Halfpenny is the stage and screen actress renowned for her diverse roles. After taking part in, and winning, BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, she has starred in West End productions including Calendar Girls and Abigail’s Party at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Professor Callahan – Peter Davison
Peter Davison is well-known for his role as The Doctor in the popular BBC series Doctor Who, between the years of 1981 and 1984. Since then, he has featured in many television roles, in Pat & Cabbage and Law & Order: UK, and has starred in West End shows such as Monty Python’s Spamalot and the award-winning revival of Gypsy, starring Imelda Staunton.
Brooke Wyndham – Aoife Mulholland
After reaching the semi-finals of the BBC show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, Aoife Mulholland went on to star in The Sound of Music at the London Palladium as Connie Fisher’s alternate. Further West End roles have included Roxie Hart in Chicago, which she also reprised in 2009. In 2008, she appeared at the Royal Albert Hall for a concert of Andrew Lloyd Webber’sChess.
Vivienne Kensington – Caroline Keiff
A renowned theatre actress, Caroline Keiff has extensive stage credits, including roles in the West End’s The Far Pavilions, Wicked and Carmen. She has also appeared in a UK tour of Summer Holiday, as well as in productions across Britain such as Guys and Dolls, Little Shop of Horrors, 42nd Street, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and The Secret Garden.
Replacement Elle Woods
Susan McFadden (From January 10th 2011)
After originating the role of Serena in Legally Blonde, Susan McFadden took over the role of Elle Woods in early 2011. Best known for taking part in, and winning, ITV’s Grease Is the Word, she starred as Sandy in the brand new production of Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre. Further credits include Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.
Carley Stenson (From July 11th 2011)
Best known for her role as Steph Cunningham in Hollyoaks, Carley Stenson took over the role of Elle Woods from Susan McFadden toward the end of the show’s run. Following this, she starred as Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical, and in further productions both in the West End and across the UK, including Spamalot, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Les Miserables.
Produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Robert G Bartner, Ambassador Theatre Group, Act Productions and Jamie Hendry Productions.
Direction by Jerry Mitchell
Book by Heather Hach
Music by Nell Benjamin and Laurence O’Keefe
Lyrics by Nell Benjamin and Laurence O’Keefe
Choreography by Jerry Mitchell
Set Design by David Rockwell
Costume Design by Gregg Barnes
Lighting Design by Kenneth Posner and Paul Miller
Sound Design by ACME Sound Partners
Orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke
- 2011 Olivier Awards – Best New Musical, Best Actress in a Musical (Sheridan Smith), Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Jill Halfpenny).
- 2011 Theatregoers’ Choice Awards – Best New Musical, Best Actress in a Musical (Sheridan Smith), Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (Jill Halfpenny), Best Choreographer (Jerry Mitchell).
The Independent – 4 Stars
“Sheridan Smith achieves stage stardom like some jaw-dropping hole-in-one in golf. I loved her as the young son’s girlfriend in The Royle Family (she’s better known for Gavin & Stacey), and I’m already queuing in my mind for the knock-out Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls that it is surely one day her destiny to perform. This girl can twirl on a dime and take you from elating silliness to genuine sadness in less time than it takes to say Delta Nu.”
The Guardian – 3 Stars
“Sheridan Smith as Elle is also far more vivacious than Reese Witherspoon. Smith is perky, trim, and sings and dances excellently. But her true star quality lies in her sense of mischief, which I first noticed when she was a teenager appearing with the National Youth Music Theatre. Blessed with the long upper lip of a natural comic, Smith sails buoyantly through the show with a radiant smile as if warning us not to take it too seriously.”
The Telegraph – 4 stars
“Director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell keeps it all light, fast, fun and frothy, and there are some terrific dance routines, not least when Elle presents herself to the Harvard professors with a full supporting company of cheer-leaders. Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin’s score is efficient rather than inspired, with no one number that brings the house down and lingers in the memory, though there are some enjoyable shafts of wit in the lyrics.”