This February, Musicality: The University of Nottingham’s Musical Theatre Society will present ‘Legally Blonde: The Musical’. As a member of Musicality and having been involved in Main Show Productions before, Hattie Rothwell-Inch was thrilled to chat to producer Carla Davidson and members Harri Evans and Megan Longhurst about their experiences.
What is it like being a member of the cast?
MEGAN LONGHURST: It’s been really lovely. Not to be cliche, but it’s kind of like a family vibe because there are so many of us. One rehearsal, I don’t know why it happened but we all bonded over tying our hair up in bunches. It’s things like that. It’s just so sweet because everyone’s really come together to do this crazy chaotic show. Yeah, it’s like a family.
“It’s lovely to see everyone bringing the show and the team’s vision to life.”
HARRI EVANS: It’s been nerve-wracking. But everyone’s really supportive. If you’ve got any issues you can go to anybody in the team and they’re all supportive, which is sick. We’ve done socials like Secret Santa and laser tag. You’re just constantly getting to know more about each other.
What has the rehearsal process been like?
CARLA DAVIDSON: I’ve absolutely loved it. Starting the rehearsals was definitely a relief for me because it was so nice to finally have a cast after doing all the prep. It’s lovely to see everyone bringing the show and the team’s vision to life. Everyone is so talented.
ML: For me it started off quite intense because at the start we did some of the bigger dance numbers. This show is EPIC, but it’s hard. After that though everyone relaxed more into the process. There are moments where it’s been insane, like when we first did ‘Bend and Snap’ all together full out. Charlotte, who plays Paulette, sang it… oh my WORD! I was shaking and having, like, heart palpitations. And it’s just moments like that in the rehearsal process which I love.
“A lot of pink. A lot of incredible dancing. A lot of funny direction. Some incredible harmonies.”
HE: The process is a hard thing to comment on because we’re doing so much and there’s such a high standard so you want to do well. But it brings you up because you’re watching people succeed around you. The only issue I’ve faced is that people are too nice!
How are you guys finding balancing this commitment with either work or study?
CD: I didn’t quite realise how much work being a producer was. Before rehearsals even started I was sorting theatre contracts, availability, auditions. But it doesn’t feel draining because it’s something I want to do so it honestly doesn’t feel like having to balance it.
HE: I’ve managed quite easily considering I’m doing a Master’s. It’s a big commitment but I’ve found that I’ve got something to look forward to at the weekend because I get to see my friends. It’s an uplifting and productive way to spend the weekend because there’s a reward at the end.
ML: Honestly, it’s a lot. I’m in 3rd year and I also do acapella…I think I rehearse six out of seven days a week. I’m so good at procrastinating so I have 3 planners to organise my life but Legally’s such a motivator because it keeps me on top of my degree work.
CD: It’s almost like people are doing a degree in Legally Blonde!
“There’s a lot going on on stage. You’re constantly involved.”
What can the audience expect from this show?
CD: A lot of pink. A lot of incredible dancing. A lot of funny direction. Some incredible harmonies. There’s something for everyone. There’s romance, comedy, and it represents quite a few different minority groups, which is great.
HE: There’s hype in everything, I mean everything. There’s always something to look at, there’s a lot going on on stage. You’re constantly involved.
ML: The first word that I thought was ‘slay’ because we say that a lot. But it’s such a feel-good show. There’s something for everyone and it’s such a serotonin boost. You’ll leave feeling a bit better about life and a bit happier because it’s such a good vibe.
What are your favourite lines in the show?
CD: It is genuinely so hard to choose. I must say a highlight for me is Isabelle Holt as Enid Hoopes singing in ‘Blood in the Water’ because the female empowerment is just incredible. It’s such a quick verse that she sings and she interrupts all the boys and I love it every single time.
“Every time she says: “How about a nice Birkin bag?”, we’re all standing off stage wheezing.”
HE: Whenever me and Emilia are on stage [as Mr and Mrs Woods] she steals the spotlight with: ‘How about a nice Birkin bag?’. Every time I’m there trying not to laugh. I’m awful for breaking character and some people just get me.
ML: I’m gonna be honest: Harry stole mine. Emilia’s line is my favourite in the show because she’s just so good as Mrs Woods. And the way every time she says: “How about a nice Birkin bag?”, we’re all standing off stage wheezing. It’s hard for Harry to not laugh because we can’t contain ourselves!
What have been your proudest moments so far?
ML: Can I just say getting cast? We all knew a lot of people would audition and 75 people signed up. And I remember the dance audition. I was shaking. Everyone was so good. It was so intimidating. And I’m a crier. So I got the call that I was cast. I think it was 1 am, and I just burst into tears.
HE: I remember smashing a really hard dance number and I felt so good because I find dancing hard. Somebody turned to me and said: “Wow, I really struggled” but I didn’t!
CD: The first run-through. We were expecting the cast to be incredible but we weren’t expecting it to be so polished! It was clear that they’d gone away, learnt the parts, learnt the dances. Even someone from Nottingham Arts Theatre came to watch and they sang everyone’s praises. For someone external to say that for our first run through… I got very emotional.
In one sentence: why should people come and watch this musical?
HE: You would be missing out on something that you’ll never get the chance to see again.
ML: Just come along and have the time of your life.
CD: This musical is so much fun, it should be illegal.
Musicality’s production of Legally Blonde will be showing at the Nottingham Arts Theatre in Hockley from 9th-11th February 2023. You can buy your tickets via the Nottingham Arts Theatre’s website: Nottingham Arts Theatre | Legally Blonde 2023 (nottingham-theatre.co.uk)
Evening Performances: 7:30pm start (Thursday 9th, Friday 10th, & Saturday 11th)
Matinee Performance: 2:30 pm start (Saturday 11th only)
Ticket Prices: Adults: £15 / Concessions and Seniors (includes Students): £12
Featured image courtesy of Josie Fowler. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes have been made to this image.
In article image courtesy of Carla Davidson. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes have been made to this image.
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