Derbyshire theatre group takes on film classic

Belper Musical Theatre's production of Legally Blonde: The Musical.

Belper Musical Theatre's production of Legally Blonde: The Musical.

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An amateur theatre company from Belper is to take on a film and West End classic this February - and hopes in the process to encourage a new generation of people to take an interest in amateur dramatics.

Belper Musical Theatre is to stage Legally Blonde: The Musical at the Belper Community Theatre on John O’Gaunts Road from Wednesday February 17 to Saturday February 20.

Chairman, Sarah Stone and Harley.

Chairman, Sarah Stone and Harley.

And, despite having a leading lady who is terrified of the dogs who also star in the show, things seem to be going well for the production team so far.

Chairman Sarah Stone, of Edensor Drive, Belper, said: “One of the biggest questions people ask us is how we are going to do the dogs.

“Well, we will be having real dogs, not stuffed or anything, but the fact the girl who plays Elle is scared of them has been a bit of an ask!

“We have been using a trainer and have even got them to bark on command although whether it will work or not on the night we don’t know! The dogs are loving it though because of all the attention they are getting - lapping it up you might say!”

The production has only recently been released to amateur companies after a phenomenally successful run on the West End and on Broadway, and the Belper group is the first amateur company to get the chance to stage it.

And Sarah says the show is based heavily on the film so lovers of the big screen version will have nothing to fear from the musical one.

“It is hilariously funny, really fast and all the scene changes happen during the numbers so the action never stops,” she said.

“We wanted to do something different that would hopefully bring in new people as well as keeping all our regular customers happy as well.”

Because so many other amateur dramatic companies have folded recently, Sarah says they have to work really hard to keep on putting ‘bums on seats’ if they are to continue putting on productions.

However, despite all the hard work amateur dramatics entails, Sarah, who will play Elle’s closest confidante, Paulette, in the show, says it is undoubtedly worth it.

“The variety of things that we get to do, the buzz you feel when you come off the stage after a great performance and the chance to work with the most fantastic group of people makes it all worthwhile,” she added.

For tickets to the Belper shows, call the box office on 01773 856190.