Bristol Hippodrome

Legally Blonde - October 2017

Dog star auditions for Legally Blonde musical

PREVIEW: Is your dog a budding stage star?

The Bristol Hippodrome are looking for local pooches to play the role of Rufus when the National Tour of Legally Blonde comes to Bristol in October.

The smash hit musical based on the best loved movie follows beautiful and popular sorority sister Elle Woods who loves to be pampered and is passionate about pink.

When she is dumped by her boyfriend Warner Huntingdon III for a more serious girlfriend she puts down the credit cards and picks up the books. Packing up her trusty pooch, Bruiser, she bags herself a place at the prestigious Harvard Law School to try and win him back.

Along the way Elle meets Paulette and together they fight to get Paulette’s 'precious baby Rufus' back from her ex-boyfriend.

Could your pawsome dog raise the ruff of The Bristol Hippodrome?

Do they meet the following dogteria?

  • A British Bulldog: We are looking for a British Bulldog. We are open to other breeds, but they need to have that look about them. Fairly bullish and robust.

  • Temperament: Relaxed, laid back, good with people and enjoys a good fuss.

  • Responsive to commands: By this I mean if your dog responds to ‘come here’, ‘sit’ and doesn’t just wander off doing its own thing.

  • Tricks: If your lovable brute has any, we would love to see them. If they’re skills are good enough we could end up using them in the show!

  • Experience: Although absolutely not essential, if your dog has some form of stage experience it will be a huge bonus

If you feel your dog matches these criteria, we would love to receive your application by Monday, July 10, for our doggy auditions at Hotel Du Vin on Saturday, July 22.

For more information or to apply email David Barrett on djebarrett@hotmail.co.uk

Legally Blonde moments

There are so many memorable moments in the musical Legally Blonde it is almost impossible to choose a best bit.

What's not to like - the soap stars; the supersonic, neon skipping; the cupids on roller skates wearing skimpy silver boxer shorts and sunglasses; the Swan Lake homophobic dance sequence; the foot tapping Irish River Dance which has the audience reeling in its seats; or perhaps it’s when the living mannequins make mechanical moves?

Aside from how the plot perminates around the hairdos it is the leading ladies in this must-see rom com who steal the show.

Lucie Jones as Elle Wood, fellow EastEnders Rita Simons as Paulette Simons, Laura Harrison as the po-faced Vivienne, super fit Helen Petrovna as Brooke Wyndham and all the cheerleaders are brilliant.

This is a high-octane show full of fantastic singing, dancing and drama which stays faithful to the storyline of the 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon as Miss Wood.

Having said that I would be hard-pressed to hum any of the tunes let alone remember the lyrics with the exception of OMG.

Billed as a romantic comedy one of the best bits on opening night was when the boxer dog called Rufus wandered (not on cue) on stage in the trailer trash scene and had the audience and cast in stitches.

I wonder how Rufus, real name Stanley, got through the audition but he managed to transform his walk-on bit part into a star turn and certainly stole the doggie limelight from the handbag chihuahua called Bruiser whose only action was as a limited fashion accessory.

Legally Blonde is about the spoilt but loveable daughter of a nouveau riche Malibu couple whose ambition for their offspring is to be happy and certainly not to tax herself in a clever career.

However, Elle is in love with Warner Huntington II whose old money family credentials make the possibility of marriage to a trophy WAG a non-happening as he turns his attention to a preppy soulmate who doesn’t dress in frivolous designer labels or whose byword is pretty in pink!

Despite her limited academic qualifications, the girl who majored in merchandising has a brain and when Warner dumps her before entering the hallowed halls of Harvard she hatches a scheme to join him at law school.

The Greek tragedy chorus line show amazing empathy for Elle when during a candlelight dinner Warner warns he is about to reveal bad news and the worse our retail therapy heroine can imagine is ‘ponchos are back’.

Gradually as she grows up she replaces her Playboy pink outfits for more sedate workwear and rejects the girlfriend tag of ‘Pooh Bear’ however be warned in the finale it’s the iconic tweed Chanel suit that makes a return.

The strong and talented cast uses the quirks of the stereotypical characters to great advantage and there are some lovely put-downs with the gay behaviour of Europeans and sorority sisters bonding staying forefront in the memory.

Bill Ward, of Coronation Street and Emmerdale fame, plays the sexist Professor Callahan, David Barrett is the corduroy suited Emmett Forrest and Warren is played by Liam Doyle – but the trio of testosterone is challenged by poolboy Felipe Bejarano and the postman with a packet Ben Harlow as Kyle B O’Boyle for a mention in dispatches.

The revolving set looks like a Playmobil-style dolls house and sometimes the stage seems too big for the action with the Harvard pillars and autumnal trees seemingly borrowed from an opera I saw a while ago but the lighting adds depth – even the glitter balls!

Directed and choreographed by Anthony Williams Legally Blonde The Musical is produced by Martin Dodd.

It plays Bristol until Saturday, October 7.

Carol Deacon

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