On my third trip to this show I was amazed to see that it had improved from my previous visit. This show has unfortunately got its closing notice and at first I wasn’t surprised because of the slipping standard, but this time it was a much stronger and greatly improved performance. Previously, at least half of the seats were empty which is a great disappointment considering this show won the 2011 Laurence Olivier award for Best Musical but with a fuller audience it seems this show has had a boom of ticket sales following the closure news. Could it be that the UK National Tour has negatively affected the London production?
After the Aoife Mulholland baby drama conflict being a top story between theatre fans on Twitter I was interested to see her portrayal of the strong minded, figure obsessed character Brooke Wyndham. She didn’t disappoint and gave a clear, well rounded performance, other than one point when she seemed to forget the words!
Carley Stenson proves soap stars can be successful musical theatre stars – I usually disagree with musicals having a celebrity headed cast but she is amazing. She was joined by her incredibly adorable, handbag sized pooch which had the audience in awe. The cuteness was unreal. The ensemble were ‘so much better than before’, they were much stronger and more powerful in comparison to my previous visit when they could hardly be heard at times.
The set and props in this show are simplistic but imaginative, other than the flashy, showy number ‘What You Want’, in which it is an all singing, all dancing spectacle of Elle’s attempt to get into the prestigious Harvard Law School. ‘Whipped Into Shape’ could be a recipe for disaster but every time I have seen it the skipping rope routine has been executed flawlessly, I’ve yet to see a skipping rope fly into an unsuspecting audience member.
I urge everyone to see this before it closes; it is an ultimate feel good show. It motivates you to never change yourself for anyone, knuckle down and get a ‘Chip On Your Shoulder’, as Vivienne said, ‘being true to yourself never goes out of style’.
OVERALL RATING: 4 stars